Bills Could Trade out of First Round to Land Pro-Bowl TE: Analyst

Zach Ertz

Getty Zach Ertz looks on before a game against the New England Patriots.

The Buffalo Bills could have more moves planned to help Josh Allen and bolster one of the most underperforming skill groups, one analyst predicts.

The Bills have previously been connected to Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, the Pro-Bowl tight end who is reportedly on the trade block after expressing his desire to leave Philly. Mike Kaye of NJ Advance Media believes that the Bills may be able to land the big target with a slight move down the draft board.

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Bills Trade out of First Round

Kaye speculated that the Bills could land Ertz by trading their No. 30 pick, giving the Eagles the first-round draft selection they currently lack while finding a new home for their tight end. In his proposed trade, Kaye has the Bills sending their first-round pick to the Eagles for Ertz and Philadelphia’s second-round pick, which is No. 37 overall. He noted that the move would save the Eagles $4.95 million in cap space by trading Ertz rather than releasing him, and the cost would be minimal.

Kaye noted that the move would fill one of the biggest holes for the Bills. Though the team had one of the most effective passing attacks in 2020, the tight end position underperformed. The trio of Tyler Kroft, Lee Smith and Dawson Knox combined for 442 yards and eight touchdowns last season, and both Kroft and Smith have now moved on.

“The Bills are a contending squad with a big need at tight end,” Kaye noted. “Positioned at the bottom of the first round, the Bills can afford to fall back in the pecking order to obtain a reliable pass-catching weapon like Ertz.”


Bills Reportedly Balked at Price for Ertz

The Bills had reportedly been interested in Ertz, but backed off at paying the initial asking price.  ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques reported that the Eagles wanted a second-day pick in exchange for him, a price that was too steep for Buffalo.

“Buffalo was believed to be a suitor for Zach Ertz, but a league source told me Tuesday night there was ‘nothing there’ between Bills and Eagles,” he tweeted. “Heard from multiple sources that Eagles’ asking price for Ertz was as high as a 3rd round pick.”

Under Kaye’s proposal, the Eagles would be backing off the previously reported asking price just a bit. Under the modern trade value chart (as published by the USA Today’s Chiefs Wire), dropping from the No. 30 spot to No. 37 would be the equivalent of giving up a high fourth-round pick.

Bills general manager Brandon Beane said after the team’s AFC Championship game loss to the Kansas City Chiefs that they would be making some moves to improve the tight end position, both through free agency and the NFL Draft. They have already done some work to improve the tight end position, signing former Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots pass-catcher Jacob Hollister. But he has not been the difference-maker that Ertz has been in the Eagles offense, with Hollister notching just 74 catches for 652 yards and six touchdowns across his four NFL seasons.

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