NFL Rumors: Zach Ertz Headed for Reunion with Nick Foles

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - DECEMBER 22: Zach Ertz #86 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on before the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field on December 22, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The uncertainty around Zach Ertz’s contract situation hasn’t reached critical masse. It might if the two sides don’t start talking.

Earlier this year, it was reported that Ertz turned down a lucrative long-term deal to remain in Philadelphia. The Eagles were trying to get ahead of the tight end market exploding. The boom will likely occur once the 49ers lock up George Kittle.

At that point, Ertz’s price tag will skyrocket and the 29-year-old can set his own market. Remember, the Eagles signed him at a bargain rate of five years and $42.5 million in 2016. He has two years left on that deal.

Already considered an elite player at his position, Ertz will be seeking to be the highest-paid tight end in the NFL. Those conversations are probably going on right now in South Philly. The number to retain Ertz could be around $70 million, an increase of $28 million on his current deal.

But maybe the Eagles don’t feel Ertz is worth that kind of money. Perhaps they feel confident in forging ahead with Dallas Goedert. The third-year tight end will need a new deal of his own next year after his four-year rookie contract expires.

Let’s explore a few potential trade scenarios involving Ertz. Jacksonville makes a ton of sense, as do Chicago and New York.

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Eagles Rumors: 3 Trade Scenarios for Ertz

Jacksonville Jaguars: Yannick Ngakoue

The most logical move would be to explore a trade with Jacksonville for Yannick Ngakoue. The Eagles have already flirted with the 25-year-old stud defensive end and Ngakoue hasn’t been hiding his desire to play in Philadelphia. The Jaguars have a solid tight end on their roster, in Tyler Eifert, and just invested a sixth-round pick in Tyler Davis. It doesn’t matter.

If there is any chance that Ertz becomes available, you make the trade. Ertz is arguably the very best tight end in football. Ngkaoue doesn’t want to play for the Jaguars in 2020 and has threatened to sit out the whole season. Remember, the Jaguars put the franchise tag on him. Eagles GM Howie Roseman is no doubt watching the situation in Jacksonville with bated breath.

Chicago Bears: Kyle Fuller

Fuller has quickly emerged as one of the top cornerbacks in football after finishing with a career-high 82 tackles and three interceptions in 2019. The former first-round pick (14th overall) has been both durable and productive in his first five seasons. The 28-year-old has started in 78 out of a possible 80 games and led the entire NFL in interceptions in 2018 with seven picks.

He’s also appeared in two straight Pro Bowls. More importantly, the Bears just restructured Fuller’s contract and added two voidable years. His base salary for 2020 is only $4.5 million. Why would the Bears want Ertz? Well, they are heading into next season with a rookie tight end (Cole Kmet) and Ertz’s best friend Nick Foles might be under center.

New York Jets: Jamal Adams

This one might be a pipe dream but there are reasons why it makes sense. Adams has never gotten over the Jets trying to move him at last year’s trade deadline. There was a reported deal in place to send him to Dallas and the Texas native wanted to go there. But Jets GM Joe Douglas didn’t pull the trigger. Instead, the team is working on a contract extension to make the former first-round pick (sixth overall) the highest-paid safety in football. That number would be around $60 million.

Is Adams worth it? Definitely. The 24-year-old ranked No. 32 on Pro Football Focus’ list of the “Top 101 Players” in the NFL. Would the Jets want him? Maybe. The Jets do have a high-caliber tight end in Chris Herndon but he has struggled with injuries and suspensions in his short career. If Ertz is available — and Adams is unhappy — then the Eagles need to get something done. One other possible move would be for the Eagles to trade Ertz for the Jets’ other starting safety, Marcus Maye.

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