Bills out of the Running for Pro Bowl Trade Target: Report

Zach Ertz

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

The Buffalo Bills are reportedly passing on a Pro Bowl tight end target.

After rumors that the Bills had been a potential suitor for Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, a new report claims that the proposed price is too high for Buffalo. The team instead snagged another tight end target on Friday, one who has a history with Josh Allen.

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Ertz Will Reportedly Cost Too Much

Though the Bills were named as one of the most interested teams for the 6-foot-5, 250-pound pass catcher, ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques reported that the team already came to a decision days ago.

“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.”

Bills general manager Brandon Beane already hinted that the team would not be willing to overpay for players in free agency, instead looking for more cost-effective fits and players excited to come to a Super Bowl contender. The report seems to indicate that the same is true of trade targets.

“There’s some really good players that we see getting signed that would be great fits but they’re signing for more than we can currently afford,” he said, via The Athletic. “We’re continually looking and trying to find those pieces that are maybe looking for the right fit. Maybe money isn’t their number one priority. Maybe it’s something else like location, maybe they’re hoping to join a team that was in the AFC Championship and was a step away.”

Before the report that the Bills were likely passing on Ertz, the Eagles player sparked speculation by liking a tweet about the Bills trading tight end Lee Smith to the Atlanta Falcons.

Bills Snag Another Tight End

With Ertz reportedly out of the picture, the Bills made a move for another tight end. The team announced on Friday that they signed former New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks target Jacob Hollister, who will be a familiar face for quarterback Josh Allen. The pair played together on the Wyoming Cowboys in 2016, Allen’s first year as a college starter.

Hollister has 74 catches for 652 yards and six touchdowns across four NFL seasons, but had one of his best games against the Bills last year. In a November matchup, he had five catches for 60 yards, both season highs for the tight end.

He could be a good fit for Allen in Buffalo as well, with Pro Football Focus pointing out that Hollister has a knack for stretching the field.

“25.6 percent of Hollister’s targets in 2016 came on balls thrown at least 20 yards in the air, the fourth-highest rate among all draft-eligible tight ends. Hollister caught seven of those 11 targets for 189 yards and three touchdowns.”

Hollister is expected to come in as the team’s No. 2 tight end behind Dawson Knox.

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