The Eagles have had conversations with several teams regarding Zach Ertz, yet the tight end remains on the team’s roster as the second week of March begins.
The Seattle Seahawks, Indianapolis Colts, and Los Angeles Chargers are teams known to have talked to Philadelphia about acquiring the three-time Pro Bowl player. The Green Bay Packers and Baltimore Ravens were suitors at last year’s trade deadline.
There is no shortage of interest and the Eagles would prefer to deal Ertz than simply release him even though there is no salary savings in doing one or the other. A trade or release would save the Eagles close to $5 million on the salary cap.
One trade proposal put forth by Bleacher Report Gridiron recently is worth exploring further.
The B/R Gridiron proposal had the Eagles and Bengals making a deal that would involve the Eagles sending their sixth overall pick plus Ertz to Cincinnati for the fifth overall pick and a fifth-round selection, No. 148 overall.
It’s a no-brainer for the Eagles.
They move up a spot and not have to surrender any draft capital to do so. Instead, they would be adding another pick, which would give them three fifth-round selections, perhaps some ammunition to move into the fourth round, an area of the draft where Philadelphia currently does not have a pick.
The Eagles are without a fourth-round pick after trading the selection two years ago in exchange for defensive end turned linebacker Genard Avery.
As for the Bengals, they would be acquiring an experienced tight end to pair with second-year quarterback Joe Burrow and moving down one spot would still likely keep them in play for Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell, a player the majority of mock drafts have the Bengals taking, because the Eagles likely would not take Sewell.
Other than that, though, it may not make much sense for Cincinnati to surrender that much for a player the Eagles might have a hard time getting even a fifth-round pick in return from any other team and one they could end up having to cut this week.
Cincinnati would really have to want Ertz to do this deal, and maybe they do.
The Bengals tight end last year was Drew Sample, a second-round pick from the University of Washington two years ago who had a decent season with 40 catches for 349 yards and one touchdown.
they also had tried C.J. Uzomah, a more experienced TE from the 2015 draft, but he tore his Achilles early in the season and missed 14 games.
Ertz had a similar year statistically as Sample and in five fewer games played, with 36 catches for 335 yards and one score, so there is some upside to landing Ertz.
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s EagleMaven. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.