The Philadelphia Eagles entered the offseason determined to make changes and tight end Zach Ertz hoped a trade away from the organization would be part of their plan. Instead, with the 2021 NFL Draft in the books, Ertz remains with the Eagles and he might be stuck on the roster for some time.
Trouble between the two sides started brewing last year during contract negotiations. Ertz wanted a new deal and both sides began discussing a long-term contract. By August, talks broke down and there started to be a sense around the NFL that Ertz’s time in Philadelphia would come to an end.
After being shopped around the league before the NFL trade deadline, he ultimately remained with the Eagles. When the disastrous 2020 season concluded, everyone understood he wouldn’t return next fall. As a result, general manager Howie Roseman made him available for trade. Multiple teams expressed interest and word spread that a blockbuster trade was imminent, but it never came to fruition.
The club’s next hope was to deal Ertz during the 2021 NFL Draft. But once again, a trade never came together. With Ertz still on the roster and unhappy with the direction of the team, we may know why a trade didn’t happen.
Will the Eagles trade Zach Ertz?
When teams first reached out to the Eagles this spring, Roseman set the asking price at a 2021 third-round pick. Already facing a limited market of suitors, with only the Los Angeles Chargers and Buffalo Bills engaged in discussions, the cost to acquire Ertz drove teams away.
Ertz is a three-time Pro Bowl selection, but the 30-year-old has also been plagued by injuries. Entering the final year of his contract and seeking a raise on his $8.5 million base salary for the 2021 season, no other general manager was willing to move a Day 2 pick for Ertz. But there was hope the asking price would come down during Day 3 of the NFL Draft.
According to Rob Maaddi of the Associated Press, Roseman’s desired return for Ertz once again prevented a trade. Clubs across the league who wanted to add a veteran weapon to their offense became disinterested after learning the Eagles wouldn’t budge off the asking price.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, they don’t have much leverage in this situation. There is likely no fixing the broken relationship between Ertz and the organization. If he is still on the roster for training camp, it might create issues in the locker room and will be an unnecessary cloud hanging over new head coach Nick Sirianni.
That’s a situation Philadelphia wants to avoid, leaving Roseman with two options. Either he trades Ertz for a future late-round pick, or in a more extreme outcome, he cuts the fan-favorite to create cap space. Whatever decision is made, it would be a surprise if Ertz is on the field with the Eagles in Week 1.