Chiefs Show Interest in Possible Travis Kelce Sidekick: Report

Getty Former Arizona Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz.

Free agent tight end Zach Ertz gets to pick his next NFL destination mid-season at 33 years old.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter on December 3, the Kansas City Chiefs are one of four teams “that have each expressed varying forms of interest in the three-time Pro Bowler. The three other teams are the Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles, and Baltimore Ravens.

Schefter also noted that Ertz, along with new free agent linebacker Shaquille Leonard, are “likely to have new homes in the next 48 or so hours,” which means both players’ free agency stints could be very short.

The Chiefs are tight on cap space right now — they currently have $2.27 million in available cap space, according to the NFLPA’s salary cap report. But with Ertz now being a free agent and is no longer tied to his contract with the Arizona Cardinals that means he holds no cap hit, which gives Kansas City more flexibility to manipulate his cap number by potentially adding incentives, void years, etc, to his contract.

For a team like the Chiefs, who like to use multiple tight end packages on offense, Ertz could be a player who comes in for a late-season push and has enough juice left in his tank to make an impact in some way within an inconsistent offense. That’s helpful, and likely why the team has expressed some level of interest in him, though the exact level is unknown.

Zach Ertz a Tenured, Skilled NFL Starter

Ertz entered the NFL as a second-round pick of the Eagles in 2013. He went on to play eight seasons with Philly, playing in a total of 123 regular season games and accumulating 579 receptions for 6,267 yards and 38 touchdowns, according to Pro Football Reference. He earned a Pro Bowl nod in three of those seasons.

In October of 2021, the Eagles traded Ertz to the Cardinals in exchange for cornerback Tay Gowan and a 2022 fifth-round pick. Potentially motivated by being shipped away, Ertz caught 56 passes for 574 yards and 3 touchdowns over the last 11 games of that season as a member of the Cardinals, which was a better stat line than he had during his 11-game season in 2020 (36-335-1).

In 2022, Ertz caught 47 passes for 406 yards and 4 touchdowns in 10 games played. After a slow start to the 2023 season (27 catches, 187 yards, 1 touchdown in 7 games played), Ertz was injured and placed on injured reserve following Week 7, which thrust second-year tight end Trey McBride into a starting role. McBride has been dominant as a receiver since Ertz went on IR (41 catches, 440 yards, 2 touchdowns in 6 games played since then), which may have prompted Ertz to ask for his release on November 30.

Twitter/X Reacts to Zach Ertz Update

Users on X, formerly Twitter, discussed the idea of the Chiefs potentially signing Zach Ertz.

“Arizona released Zach Ertz. Sounds like he wants to ring chase. The Chiefs signing him and leaning into 3 tight end looks more could mitigate WR issues,” Adam Best of Arrowhead Addict wrote. “Plus, *knocks on wood* Kelce insurance. Guessing the odds are low because Ertz might want starting reps, but would make sense.”

“Yes, please. The Chiefs already stole a Lombardi, Taylor Swift and her family from Philadelphia. Why not go for Zach Ertz next?” another user wrote.

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