The Philadelphia Eagles are charging Zach Ertz rent in their long-term plans — and he wants them to renew the lease. Problem is, the franchise seems skiddish about commitment. The Pro Bowl tight end might get sick of waiting.
ESPN’s Bill Barnwell pondered whether the Eagles might decide to cut their losses and get rid of Ertz at the trading deadline. The Eagles already have a younger, cheaper option at the ready in Dallas Goedert — and, quite honestly, Ertz’s production is way down in 2020.
The compensation? A young linebacker with untapped potential, Haason Reddick. Arizona selected Reddick in the first-round (13th overall) of the 2017 draft and he’s largely underwhelmed expectations. The Eagles would jettison Ertz and a 2022 sixth-rounder in exchange for Reddick and a 2022 third-rounder.
Let’s add extra intrigue — and a potential cheesesteak — to the equation. The 235-pound linebacker is a Camden, NJ native and Temple product. Local. Homegrown. Eagles fan.
“Initially, growing up, I was an Eagles fan, back when they had Duce Staley, as I was a running back in high school,” Reddick said, via USA Today. “Then he got traded to the Steelers, and I ended up being a Steelers fans until I got the NFL.”
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ESPN Writer: ‘I’m Not Sure He’s Going to be in Philly’
Barnwell’s main point in a possible trade scenario was that the Eagles may be forced to be sellers at the deadline. That, and their glaring weakness at the linebacker spot make a deal for Reddick almost too ideal.
The Eagles are desperate for athletes at linebacker and might want to see if they can get more out of Reddick than the Cardinals have. Ertz is a beloved member of a Super Bowl-winning team, and trading him in the middle of a divisional race could backfire, but I’m not sure he is going to be in Philly much longer either way.
Of course, the elephant in the room is the Eagles’ unwillingness to upgrade the position. They believe strongly in Nate Gerry, Duke Riley, T.J. Edwards, and rookies Shaun Bradley and Davion Taylor as the future. Don’t tell the coaching staff they don’t value the spot.
“Every position is a priority for us. I mean, every position is important on the field,” defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said. “And I disagree that we haven’t spent resources on it. I mean, you mentioned some of those guys we’ve had. We pay free agent money to guys like Nigel [Bradham].”
Ertz Struggling Early in 2020 Season
Whether it’s by design or coincidence is anyone’s guess but Ertz has been a tad off so far this season. The Pro Bowl tight end has just 20 receptions for 145 yards and one touchdown in five games.
“The only goal I have is to get open every single play,” Ertz said. “There have been times I have been pretty good at it this year, and times I could be better for sure. My goal each and every week is to put a win on tape, that’s kind of been my mantra these past couple years. It doesn’t matter if the ball’s going to me or not, I’m just trying to get open.”
Ertz was once thought to be overly targeted in Philly — his tight relationship with Carson Wentz questioned — and now he can’t catch a break in the passing game. It seems to be a case of defenses clamping down, according to Doug Pederson.
“So it’s just a little bit of missed timing right now with those two,” the head coach said. “But I know it’s something that they will work at and work on each week to get it corrected.”
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