Zach Ertz
Philadelphia Eagles legend Zach Ertz was traded to the Arizona Cardinals Friday for Tay Gowan and a 2021 fifth-round draft pick. (Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Inside the Zach Ertz Trade

We have breaking news coming from the NFL today. After months of limbo, a Zach Ertz trade is finally in place. The three-time Pro Bowl tight end has been traded from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Arizona Cardinals. Arizona will send cornerback Tay Gowan and a 2022 fifth-round draft pick.

The departure will be tough for Eagles fans to endure. Ertz, who turns 31 in November, spent eight full seasons with Philadelphia prior to being traded just six games into his ninth. There were rumors swirling this past offseason that he would be traded as a part of an Eagles rebuild. He allowed those rumors to get to him after the final snap last year, as he cried at the sendoff press conference. Ertz was also emotional heading to the locker room after Thursday night’s 28-22 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – an indication he knew he had played his last game for the Eagles:

After last night’s loss, Philadelphia holds a 2-4 record, and with their rival, the Dallas Cowboys, running away with the NFC East at 4-1, it is time to start selling. Arizona, on the other hand, is 5-0 and the only undefeated team left in the NFL to date. Quarterback Kyler Murray is leading the league’s most dynamic offense, despite getting just 193 total yards of production from his tight ends – all of which come from Maxx Williams. Ertz has 189 yards this season, but that was because he was splitting snaps with Dallas Goedert in Philly. The Cardinals are most likely looking for him to play a prominent role.

Zach Ertz has amassed 6,267 receiving yards and 38 touchdowns on 579 career receptions but is easily coming off his worst season. Ertz caught just 36 passes for 335 yards and one touchdown in 2020. He currently sits at 19th for career receptions among active players, and 101st all-time. He also set the single-season receptions record for a tight end with 116 in 2018.

The Eagles are receiving rookie corner Tay Gowan from Arizona. Gowan, 23, was a sixth-round pick in the 2021 draft and has yet to see the field. He stands 6’2”, 186 lbs. and ran a 4.44 40-yard dash at his UCF Pro Day. He had two career interceptions in college and will likely just be a depth piece for Philadelphia for the rest of the 2021 season. If he impresses, there’s a possibility he could compete for a nickel role next season.

Zach Ertz trade rumors were going around last year because of his contract and Philadelphia’s salary cap situation. Prior to the 2017 season, Ertz signed a five-year, $42.5 million extension. He was in the last year of his deal, and his cap hit for 2021 was just over $5.5 million. Ertz was looking for a new deal that would keep him in Philadelphia until he retired, but general manager Howie Roseman saw the writing on the wall and granted Ertz permission to seek a trade this year.

Ertz is considered to be one of the best tight ends of this era, and his production lines up with names like Travis Kelce and George Kittle. He ranks second all-time among Philadelphia tight ends in receptions, yards, and touchdowns – all behind Hall of Famer Harold Carmichael. Ertz will forever be remembered for his game-winning touchdown catch in Super Bowl LII, where the Eagles won their first Super Bowl title with a 41-33 win over the New England Patriots.

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