Seahawks Projected to Sign 3-Time Pro Bowl TE to 2-Year Deal

Russell Wilson

Getty The Seahawks could add another major receiving weapon for Russell Wilson.

The Seattle Seahawks could target another weapon for quarterback Russell Wilson.

As the Seahawks look to continue the Wilson era heading into the 2022 season, finding a reliable safety blanket at tight end can only help Seattle. Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports wrote that he expects the Seahawks to sign three-time Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz to a two-year, $18 million contract.

“Gerald Everett was a fine outlet for Russell Wilson in 2021, but Ertz proved — right in front of Seattle’s eyes in the NFC West — that he’s still a top-10 starter when healthy,” Benjamin wrote in a story published March 4. “Ertz moves farther west for one last run with an elite QB.”

How Ertz Could Benefit Seahawks

Ertz, 31, was traded by the Philadelphia Eagles to the Arizona Cardinals midway through the 2021 season. After conceding playing time and production to Dallas Goedert, Ertz proved he still had plenty left in the tank. In 11 games with the Cardinals, Ertz posted 56 receptions for 574 yards and three touchdowns.

Ertz isn’t the three-time Pro Bowler he was between 2017 and 2019, but he remains a top-tier starting tight end. The nine-year veteran posted a 69.4 receiving grade in 2021 (according to Pro Football Focus), 16th among all tight ends.

He would represent an upgrade over the Seahawks’ 2021 starter at tight end in Gerald Everett, who received a 64.5 grade from Pro Football Focus. Everett posted 48 receptions for 478 yards and four touchdowns in 15 games.

Benjamin also mentioned how two of Ertz’s younger counterparts — Dalton Schultz, 25, and Mike Gesicki, 26 — would command bigger contracts in free agency, likely lessening Ertz’s value in free agency. Spotrac estimated Ertz’s market value being at $7.6 million a year.

“The longtime Eagles star isn’t scaring anyone with his speed these days, but he also won’t command nearly as much as younger counterparts Dalton Schultz and Mike Gesicki,” Benjamin wrote. “More than that, Ertz remains ultra-reliable over the middle and in the red zone. You’re still talking about a top 10 starter at an important pass-catching position.”

The Seahawks have other positions of concern. They could look to upgrade at running back, especially considering that Seattle’s starting running back — Chris Carson — missed all but four games due to injury. Seattle also could look to upgrade its defensive backfield after ranking 31st in passing yards allowed.

But upgrading at tight end — especially given the Seahawks are lacking in receiving options outside of their dynamic receiving duo in D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett — could help Seattle back into playoff contention.

Despite going 7-10 during the 2021 season, the Seahawks are aiming to contend in the 2022 season.

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Carroll: ‘We’re Trying to Win Right Now’

Seattle missed the postseason for just the second time during the Wilson/Pete Carroll era last year. Some critics have pointed to Wilson’s slight decline in performance as a reason for the Seahawks’ struggles, Seattle dealt with a revolving door at running back — four different backs started — and one of the worst pass defenses in the league.

Despite the Seahawks’ lackluster 2021 season, Carroll stressed what the team’s objective is despite a “hard” season.

Via Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times:

“It was hard,” Condotta wrote in a story published March 3. “It was really hard, but it also creates this excitement about like, ‘OK, we know how to do it. We’ve been here before. We’re going to do it again.’”

“We’re trying to win right now,” Carroll said. “But it’s always about making sure that we’re making the right steps and the proper steps to move. We have to think as we draft guys, and as we sign guys out of free agency, there’s always the immediate urgency, yeah. But we have to have the mentality for the long haul also.”

Signing the right players in free agency and drafting rookies who can step in and make an immediate impact will dictate whether the Seahawks can contend in the toughest division in football.

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