HomeDa Birds NewsEagles Fans Begin to Speculate on Zach Ertz's Possible Reunion with Team

Eagles Fans Begin to Speculate on Zach Ertz’s Possible Reunion with Team

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PHILADELPHIA – There is rarely a dull moment around the NovaCare Complex and the curve ball thrown Thursday came from 2,300 miles away in Phoenix when news broke that veteran tight end Zach Ertz requested and was granted his release from the struggling Arizona Cardinals.

According to NFL Media, Ertz agreed to trade this week’s game check in return for the opportunity to play for a contender.

A three-time Pro Bowl tight end with the Philadelphia Eagles, Ertz, 33, remains a heavyweight in the Delaware Valley community and one of the more popular players in recent franchise history, making the NFL’s best team an obvious potential landing spot especially because the 10-1 Eagles are currently banged-up at tight end.

Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson even took to X to unofficially confirm that the idea is certainly alive.

Hurdles exist, however. The first of which is the waiver process where Philadelphia is No. 32 in the order, meaning if any of the other 31 teams in the league want to ruin a potential reunion they can do so.

The thought, however, is that Ertz will pass through waivers and be able to negotiate with any potential suitor for two reasons – his contract which has $2.5 million remaining this season, and the realization that he wants to play with a legitimate contender and wouldn’t be happy in another situation.

That doesn’t mean all the dots connect directly to Philadelphia, though.

While Dallas Goedert is currently sidelined with a fractured forearm and is expected to miss Sunday’s game against San Francisco, the eye on his return is at the Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 10.

Zach Ertz

Goedert is lobbying to return this week but noted to SI.com’s Eagles Today that the doctors wanted four full weeks to allow the bone to heal properly. The star TE1 also pointed to last season when he missed time with a broken glenoid bone in his shoulder. In that instance, Goedert felt well enough to play two weeks before his return but the medical staff waited the recommended time for the healing process.

As for Calcaterra, the second-year TE3 confirmed his ankle injury suffered at Kansas City on Nov. 20 was a high-ankle sprain. He is already out of a walking boot but it’s going to take a little more time before he can get back on the field.

Neither Goedert nor Calcaterra were estimated participants at Wednesday’s walkthrough and also missed Thursday’s practice. Both were on the field, though. Goedert was seen spending some time catching some footballs while the team was going through individual work and Calcaterra was on a side field working with trainers alongside linebacker Zach Cunningham, who is expected to miss Sunday’s game with a hamstring strain.

At the moment, Ertz looks like he’s needed because the Eagles will play against the 49ers with Jack Stoll, Albert Okwuegbunam, and likely practice squad elevation Noah Togiai.

However, by Week 14 when Ertz, in theory, could be in the mix, Goedert should be back and Calcaterra should shortly follow.

When the depth chart reads Goedert, Stoll, and Calcaterra in Philadelphia, the fit is there in that Stoll fits in as a solid blocker and Calcaterra has receiving potential but also helps in special teams.

Ertz’s strength is not in the blocking aspect and he doesn’t play special teams at this stage of his career.

Ertz was one of the NFL’s best-receiving tight ends in his prime with the Eagles, snaring a record at the position in 2018 when he finished with 116 receptions for 1,163 yards and eight touchdowns. From 2015 through 2019 his low-water mark with the Eagles was 74 receptions.

He’s 10 receptions short of Harold Carmichael’s franchise record of 589 with 579 catches for 6.267 yards and 38 touchdowns over 123 games with Philadelphia.

In Super Bowl LII after 2017 season, Ertz made two of the biggest catches in Eagles’ history, a fourth-and-one conversion just shy of midfield with 5:39 left, and an 11-yard touchdown reception with 2:25 remaining that put Philadelphia on top for good en route to its first Lombardi Trophy.

All that said, Baltimore, which lost star tight end Mark Andrews for the season with an ankle injury, might be a better fit if Ertz wants a larger role on a legit contender.

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