Zach Ertz was one of the top tight ends in the NFL just two years ago, but after a succession of injury-plagued seasons and poor quarterback play, he fell out of favor with Philadelphia. After Arizona traded for him last week, ESPN analyst Louis Riddick said it’s time to “start talking about Zach as an elite player again.” What made this possible?
The “zach ertz wife” is a player who has seen his career take off after the Eagles failed to draft him in 2014. He was traded to the Cardinals and has been on fire ever since. The Eagles have been unable to stop the bleeding, with their roster being decimated by injuries and poor drafting.
There were rumors before the Philadelphia Eagles dealt Zach Ertz to the Arizona Cardinals that the veteran tight end was starting to deteriorate. In 2020, the three-time Pro Bowler caught 36 receptions for 335 yards and had a sluggish start in 2021. (18 catches for 189 yards).
One thing is evident after only two games with his new team: Ertz can still play at a high level.
With the Cardinals, Zach Ertz is off to a fast start.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images/Zach Ertz
While the Cardinals’ unbeaten season came to an end on Thursday Night Football against the Green Bay Packers, it was not due to Ertz’s negligence. On four targets, the veteran tight end pulled in four receptions for 42 yards. Ertz had three receptions for 66 yards and a score in the previous game.
Kyler Murray of the Cardinals is fast learning how dependable the veteran tight end is. Ertz has an uncanny ability to open up and create space at will. It’s a significant boost for Arizona’s offense, which was already looking strong to begin the season.
This season still has a lot of football left to play. However, Ertz’s first two games in Arizona served as a reminder of his dominance. People forget that from 2017 to 2019, he was widely regarded as a top-three tight end.
The Eagles’ revival is tainted by Ertz’s resurgence.
When a quarterback with the unusual power of “throwing the football” is on his squad, Zach Ertz looks fantastic.
— Joe Dolan (@FG Dolan) on the 29th of October, 2021
While most Eagles supporters are pleased to see Ertz flourishing in the desert, his quick turnaround reflects a negative light on the team’s front office and coaching staff. Ertz is clearly still a capable pass-catcher. Why wasn’t he able to produce at this level in 2020 and 2021 with the Eagles?
To begin with, controversial general manager Howie Roseman seemed to go out of his way to get Ertz out of Philadelphia. Roseman declined the veteran TE’s desire for a contract extension following 2019 (88 receptions for 916 yards). The Eagles pushed a dissatisfied Ertz to play in 2020 without a new deal, adding to the team’s slew of issues.
Furthermore, the quarterback position was undervalued by the organization. Former quarterback Carson Wentz and Ertz have a great friendship. Ertz’s life was made much more difficult by the Eagles’ decision to trade Wentz for Jalen Hurts (who struggled to get Ertz the ball in 2021).
The Eagles are in a downward spiral.
Despite the setback in Week 8, Ertz and the Cardinals are in excellent condition. They’re almost certain to make the playoffs.
On the other hand, the Eagles are on an entirely opposite path. Their fan base is enraged by the lack of good outcomes, and Hurts’ starting position is already under threat.
The Eagles were placed into a situation where trading Ertz was their only choice in 2021. It didn’t have to be this way, to put it bluntly. Due to Howie Roseman’s roster mishandling, Philadelphia had a good core to develop around going back to 2017 and needlessly slaughtered it.
There’s no reason why former head coach Doug Pederson, Wentz, and Ertz can’t remain with the Eagles in 2021.
Regardless, the Ertz scenario might best be seen as another example of the Eagles executive office’s blunder. An consequence that is becoming more common in Philadelphia these days.
Pro Football Reference provided all stats.
Fletcher Cox, a defensive tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles, blasts the team’s inexperienced and unprepared coaching staff, saying, “I can only take so much, and I’m going to do something about it.”