Zach Ertz trade grades: Cardinals get No. 1 tight end to make them serious contender, Eagles continue rebuild

Zach Ertz is not with the Philadelphia Eagles, because the franchise icon who left his mark on a passionate metropolis has been traded. The Eagles dealt Ertz, one of many best tight ends in workforce historical past, to the Arizona Cardinals for cornerback Tay Gowan and a 2022 fifth-round draft choose. 

Ertz caught 579 passes for six,267 yards and 38 touchdowns in his 9 seasons with the Eagles. He’ll end his Eagles tenure simply 10 catches behind Corridor of Famer Harold Carmichael (589) because the franchise’s all-time reception chief and is fifth on the franchise’s all-time checklist in receiving yards (second amongst tight ends). Ertz additionally has the NFL file for receptions in a season by a decent finish (116) and caught the game-winning landing go in Super Bowl LII to provide the Eagles their first Tremendous Bowl title. 

Each the Eagles and Cardinals got here out winners on this deal, with the franchises headed in several instructions because the 2021 season performs on. This is how we graded the transfer for every:

Cardinals: A

The Cardinals wanted a pass-catching tight finish in the event that they have been severe about contending for the NFC West — and the Tremendous Bowl. With Maxx Williams being misplaced for the season (knee), Arizona had simply Demetrius Harris and Darrell Daniels as tight ends on their roster. Neither has a catch but this season, and it was asking an excessive amount of for both to be a constant contributor within the offense. 

Arizona wanted to accumulate Ertz, who was splitting snaps with Dallas Goedert in Philadelphia. With Goedert out attributable to COVID-19 protocols, Ertz had a possibility to showcase how invaluable he might be to an offense as a featured tight finish on Thursday, with a landing reception and getting open on quite a few events in Philadelphia’s loss to Tampa Bay. Ertz continues to be the most effective route working tight ends within the sport and as certain handed on the place as they arrive, even at 30 years outdated. 

Ertz will not be requested to be the savior in Arizona, simply an added weapon in an offense that already has DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green, Christian Kirk, and Rondale Moore as go catchers. The Cardinals have run ’10’ personnel — one RB, 4 WRs, no TE — greater than anybody, however they determine to get Ertz on the sector after making this commerce, even in 4 large receiver units in the event that they line him up as a receiver.

Ertz might be the distinction between the Cardinals being a “one-and-done” playoff workforce or going deep within the postseason. He is one other glorious veteran so as to add to that locker room — and a participant they need to signal previous this season.  

Eagles: B

The Eagles did not get the affords for Ertz they needed this summer time, in order that they determined to fix fences with the franchise legend in what ended up being an emotional goodbye and fashionable exit from Philadelphia. On the finish of the day, Philadelphia was capable of obtain a Day 3 draft choose (a 2022 fifth-rounder) and a participant in rookie cornerback Tay Gowan — a a lot larger haul than something they have been provided previous to the beginning of the yr. 

Getting a fifth-round choose is a hit and miss, however Gowan appears to slot in the cornerback plans for Philadelphia. Gowan seemed to be a Day 3 steal within the sixth spherical this yr, as his 26.2 passer rating in single coverage since 2019 was the second lowest in college football. Gowan makes performs on the ball and matches the protection scheme Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon likes to run. 

So the place does Gowan match on this protection? Darius Slay and Steve Nelson are the starters on the surface and Avonte Maddox mans the slot, however utilizing added cornerback depth to develop a younger participant at that place advantages the Eagles down the street. Gowan was on the 53-man roster, however was a sport day inactive for all 5 video games Arizona performed. With Zech McPhearson and Josiah Scott additionally on the roster, anticipate Gowan to proceed being a venture for the Eagles as a sport day inactive going ahead. The Eagles will proceed to develop Gowan within the hopes he can contribute in 2022, particularly with Nelson and Maddox hitting free company after the season. 

Dallas Goedert could by no means replicate the manufacturing of Ertz, however he is the No. 1 tight finish in Philadelphia with a contract extension incoming. Goedert is a top-10 tight finish within the sport as a go catcher and blocker, and his numbers will improve now that he is the first possibility and never splitting the snaps with Ertz. This can profit Jalen Hurts and the offense as an entire, because the Eagles would like to run “11” personnel, which they run 69% of the time anyway

The Eagles weren’t going to re-sign Ertz after the yr and so they need to get youthful as they nonetheless transition from their Tremendous Bowl championship roster. Basic supervisor Howie Roseman abided by Ertz and despatched the franchise icon to the place he needed to go whereas getting one of the best provide potential. Philadelphia will not be profitable the NFC East anyway and would not have the look of a playoff workforce.

This yr is about improvement, from the entrance workplace to the top coach to the gamers. Let’s have a look at how a lot harm Goedert can do as a high pass-catching possibility with different younger skills equivalent to DeVonta Smith and Quez Watkins. | Zach Ertz commerce grades: Cardinals get No. 1 tight finish to make them severe contender, Eagles proceed rebuild


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