The latest update on the Philadelphia Eagles and their plans to trade erstwhile quarterback Carson Wentz suggests that the team might sweeten things by including three-time Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz as part of the potential deal.
On Saturday, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler tweeted that there are "some people around the league" who believe the Eagles will weigh their options with Ertz, who is supposedly preparing himself for the possibility he may be traded or released. The reporter further speculated that Philadelphia might bundle him with Wentz in a trade package to "maximize value" for the other team.
As reported by Sports Illustrated, the latter possibility seems plausible, even if it's still unclear how interested the Eagles are In moving the veteran tight end. Heading into the 2021 campaign, Ertz has one more year remaining on his contract and will be making $8.5 million in the coming season, with a cap hit slightly exceeding $12.4 million. He is also coming off a season where he missed five games and caught a career-low 36 passes for 335 receiving yards and one touchdown.
Meanwhile, Wentz is also coming off a down year where he was statistically among the NFL's worst quarterbacks and found himself replaced behind center by rookie Jalen Hurts toward the end of the campaign. The one-time Pro Bowler had a poor 3-8-1 record as a starter in 2020, finishing with 2,620 passing yards, 16 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, and a career-low 72.8 QB rating, per Pro Football Reference. He also completed just 57.4 percent of his passes — also a career-worst figure.
As noted by Sports Illustrated, Wentz still has a long way to go before his lucrative contract expires, as he is still owed $128 million over the next four years. However, any team that acquires him in the 2021 offseason would be able to absorb close to $25 million in dead cap space and effectively "get out of his deal" by 2022.
Since it was first rumored that the Eagles might be parting ways with Wentz after five seasons, the Indianapolis Colts have been brought up frequently as a possible destination for the former No. 2 overall draft pick. Aside from the fact that their starting signal-caller in 2020, Philip Rivers, recently announced his retirement, a move to Indianapolis would reunite Wentz with head coach Frank Reich, who had previously worked with the 28-year-old quarterback as Philadelphia's offensive coordinator.
While recent reports have suggested that the Eagles and the Colts are talking about a deal involving Wentz, it's also unclear whether Indianapolis is also interested in acquiring Ertz.