If you thought you were tired of Julio Jones trade talk, let's dip back into the actual longest-running offseason trade rumor. It's June 2, and Zach Ertz is still on Philadelphia's roster. The Eagles supposedly have "at least three" interested teams, seeking an aging tight end who currently counts nearly $13 million against the cap. Sure they do.
Philadelphia at last report was seeking a third-round pick, which perhaps explains why he hasn't been traded yet. He's 30, he has a big contract, and the Eagles have virtually no leverage -- nobody actually thinks they're going to keep him on the roster. Whatever they say, it's really unlikely he'll be with them come training camp.
As recently as 2019, Ertz was putting up some of the best numbers by any tight end. In 2020? Not so much.
Last year Ertz had 72 passes thrown his way and caught just 36 of them. Some of that can be attributed to poor quarterbacking (it's not as if he dropped all the incompletions) but a lack of separation could also be the problem. Whatever the case, he had one of the four worst catch rates by any tight end with 70-plus targets in the last 10 years. Table shows all TEs with an under 60 percent catch rate in the last decade.
|INEFFICIENT TIGHT ENDS, 2011-2020 (70 TARGETS)|
|2011||Jermichael Finley, G.B.||92||55||767||14.0||8||59.8%|
|2013||Coby Fleener, Ind.||87||52||608||11.7||4||59.8%|
|2012||Benjamin Watson, Cle.||82||49||501||10.2||3||59.8%|
|2015||Owen Daniels, Den.||77||46||517||11.2||3||59.7%|
|2019||Jack Doyle, Ind.||72||43||448||10.4||4||59.7%|
|2012||Owen Daniels, Hou.||104||62||716||11.6||6||59.6%|
|2014||Delanie Walker, Ten.||106||63||890||14.1||4||59.4%|
|2017||Jimmy Graham, Sea.||96||57||520||9.1||10||59.4%|
|2014||Mychal Rivera, Oak.||99||58||534||9.2||4||58.6%|
|2020||Rob Gronkowski, T.B.||77||45||623||13.8||7||58.4%|
|2012||Scott Chandler, Buff.||74||43||571||13.3||6||58.1%|
|2012||Brandon Pettigrew, Det.||102||59||567||9.6||3||57.8%|
|2020||Evan Engram, NYG||109||63||654||10.4||1||57.8%|
|2015||Julius Thomas, Jac.||80||46||455||9.9||5||57.5%|
|2016||Lance Kendricks, LAR||87||50||499||10.0||2||57.5%|
|2019||Mike Gesicki, Mia.||89||51||570||11.2||5||57.3%|
|2016||Antonio Gates, S.D.||93||53||548||10.3||7||57.0%|
|2012||Kyle Rudolph, Min.||93||53||493||9.3||9||57.0%|
|2011||Dustin Keller, NYJ||115||65||815||12.5||5||56.5%|
|2017||Evan Engram, NYG||115||64||722||11.3||6||55.7%|
|2014||Coby Fleener, Ind.||92||51||774||15.2||8||55.4%|
|2013||Garrett Graham, Hou.||89||49||545||11.1||5||55.1%|
|2011||Benjamin Watson, Cle.||70||37||410||11.1||2||52.9%|
|2014||Jared Cook, St.L.||99||52||634||12.2||3||52.5%|
|2015||Jared Cook, St.L.||75||39||481||12.3||0||52.0%|
|2011||Visanthe Shiancoe, Min.||70||36||409||11.4||3||51.4%|
|2011||Greg Olsen, Car.||89||45||540||12.0||5||50.6%|
|2020||Zach Ertz, Phil.||72||36||335||9.3||1||50.0%|
|2015||Jordan Cameron, Mia.||70||35||386||11.0||3||50.0%|
|2012||Tony Scheffler, Det.||85||42||504||12.0||1||49.4%|
|2011||Marcedes Lewis, Jac.||85||39||460||11.8||0||45.9%|
Eventually, the right (or at least the best) offer will come along, and the Eagles will accept it, and we can all get on with our lives. Maybe Ertz has a throwback year in him where he puts up top-15 numbers. But I think it's probably over. Not a player I expect to spend a draft pick or roster spot on no matter where he ends up.