Eagles Must Consider Potential Catch Of A Zach Ertz Reunion
Zach Ertz requested his release from the Arizona Cardinals. He will more than likely clear waivers and become an unrestricted free agent. J.J. Watt reported that the legendary Philadelphia Eagles tight end is looking to sign with a contender. Is a reunion in order?
What Value Does Zach Ertz Provide the Eagles?
Ertz cemented his legacy in the lure of Philadelphia sports history with a clutch fourth-down conversion and the game-winning touchdown in Super Bowl LII. He sits second in franchise history in receptions, fifth in receiving yards, and seventh in receiving touchdowns.
He also avoided a potentially ugly exit from Philadelphia in 2021 in a situation that the organization might’ve been able to handle differently. However, at age 33, he isn’t the player he was during his prime years.
Ertz hasn’t played since Week 7 . He caught 27 balls for 187 yards for Jonathan Gannon and the Cardinals in 2023. The 2013 second-round pick is ready to return from a quad injury, but it’s not a reasonable expectation for him to contribute in Week 13 against the San Francisco 49ers.
Eagles Facing Questions At Tight End
The Eagles got good news about Dallas Goedert earlier in the week. Their starting tight end has been an excellent replacement since Howie Roseman dealt Ertz in 2021. Goedert didn’t practice on Wednesday, but he took the field on Thursday.
If Goedert doesn’t play in Week 13 against the 49ers, he’ll most likely return on Dec. 10 against the Dallas Cowboys. If Ertz won’t contribute before Goedert returns, it would eliminate the biggest part of the appeal of a potential reunion.
Jack Stoll isn’t an excellent option as a backup tight end. He did take advantage of his only target against the Buffalo Bills with a key 14-yard gain on a third-down conversion that set up a touchdown. He brings more value as a blocker than as a receiver.
Grant Calcaterra missed the Week 12 matchup with an ankle injury. Albert Okwuegbunam played nine offensive snaps, and Noah Togiai played seven. None of the three respective backup tight ends have caught a pass this season.
Is Ertz Worth It?
The Eagles might have a more obvious connection to Zach Ertz, but they are also a top candidate to sign free agent linebacker Shaq Leonard. The former All-Pro should be Roseman’s top priority if he’s healthy.
Ertz could provide a better backup option as a receiving tight end, especially if Calcaterra is unavailable in the coming weeks. One play can sometimes make the difference in a Super Bowl run, and a three-time Pro Bowler is more qualified than an inexperienced second-year reserve if it’s a choice between the two.
A signing, however, cannot reduce the odds of landing Shaq Leonard. The priority for help in the middle of the defense outweighs the need for a backup tight end if Goedert will return quickly.
Signing Zach Ertz wouldn’t be a bad idea, but it must be at a low cost that doesn’t limit financial options or the ability to solidify other positions.