After their 28-22 loss to the Buccaneers on Thursday night, the Eagles announced on Friday morning that they are trading three-time Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz to the undefeated Cardinals (5-0).
Ertz has played with the Eagles for the entirety of his eight-plus-year career. Through six games this season, Ertz has 189 receiving yards and two touchdowns. According to ESPN, Ertz is on 48.6 percent of fantasy rosters.
Eagles vice president and general manager Howie Roseman said Ertz was aware that Thursday night’s game was potentially his last as an Eagle. The team allowed him to be a captain for the game, and Ertz appeared emotional afterward.
Zach Ertz has been traded to Arizona
Most catches in Eagles history
589 Harold Carmichael
579 Zach Ertz
Zach was very emotional last night heading into the lockeroom for the last time pic.twitter.com/DAgynoIbQz
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) October 15, 2021
Speaking with the media Friday morning after the trade was announced, Ertz was emotional while discussing what his “home” means to him.
“Philadelphia is home,” Ertz said, via NBCSPhilly. “That was tough to articulate to people, that I love this place. I’ve said it all along. I loved it here. I did the best I could, every day. I can leave knowing that.”
One of Ertz’s biggest moments as an Eagle was catching the final touchdown pass in Super Bowl LII to secure Philadelphia’s first Super Bowl win. He also finished his career as an Eagle with the second-most receptions in team history.
Here’s why and how the Cardinals traded for the star tight end.
Will Zach Ertz play this weekend?
Ertz won’t make his Cardinals debut until Week 7 against the Texans on Sunday, Oct. 24. NFL players cannot compete in two games in one week, and because Ertz played Thursday night with the Eagles, he will be sidelined for the Cardinals’ matchup against the Browns on Sunday.
The only other active Cardinals tight end on their depth chart is Demetrius Harris, who doesn’t have any receiving yards this season.
Why did the Eagles trade Zach Ertz?
In 2020, the Eagles were using two tight ends 35 percent of the time. However, in 2021, that percentage has dropped to only 22 percent of the time. So, the Eagles took advantage of saving money in their cap space by getting a player and pick in return.
The Eagles plan to use Dallas Goedert in Ertz’s place. Goedert is in his final year on his rookie contract, so his future with the Eagles is still uncertain after this season. However, Goedert did not play Thursday night because he’s on the COVID-19/illness reserve list. His return is unknown at the moment.
The Cardinals, on the other hand, relied heavily on Maxx Williams in the tight end position. However, during Sunday’s game against the 49ers, they lost Williams to a season-ending knee injury. Coach Kliff Kingsbury announced Williams’ status on Wednesday. Williams completed 193 receiving yards and one touchdown in five games. Backup tight end Darrell Daniels tested positive for COVID-19 last week and hasn’t been reactivated on the roster yet. So, the Cardinals were in desperate need of a tight end.
Updated look at the #Cardinals offense:
QB: Kyler Murray
RB: James Conner
RB: Chase Edmunds
WR: DeAndre Hopkins
WR: AJ Green
WR: Christian Kirk
WR: Rondale Moore
—> TE: Zach Ertz
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) October 15, 2021
Zach Ertz trade details
The Cardinals traded cornerback Tay Gowen and a 2022 fifth-round pick in exchange for Ertz. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Cardinals have not discussed contract details with Ertz.