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July 01, 2021

Rumor: Bills and Eagles (were) close on a deal for Zach Ertz

That was a couple of weeks ago. Is there still a chance they get a deal done before training camp?

Eagles NFL
Zach_Ertz_sidelines_Eagles_Rams_Kate_Frese_092020 Kate Frese/for PhillyVoice

Zach Ertz kneeling on the sidelines during the Philadelphia Eagles game against the LA Rams at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on September 20, 2020.

Zach Ertz has been on the trade block for (checks timeline) around 10 months now, and there's little doubt that he will be playing for a team other than the Philadelphia Eagles in 2021. It's really only a matter of whether the team releases him, or is able to salvage some sort of trade compensation in return.

Appearing on the Dan Sileo show (h/t and r/eagles), Merrill Reese said that, "word is that [the Eagles are] close to a deal with Buffalo for Zach Ertz." Reese prefaced the comment by saying that he had no inside information. 

The full quote:

"The word today is they're very close to a deal — and I don't have any inside information to substantiate this — but word is that they're close to a deal with Buffalo for Zach Ertz. But I believe you have as much of being on this roster as Zach Ertz in a few weeks."

[UPDATE: The video below was apparently recorded on June 14, but for some insane reason it was posted on June 30, with Reese saying, "The word today is they're very close to a deal." Reese was merely commenting on the news of that day, not yesterday.]

On June 1, the Bills restructured Stefon Diggs' contract, freeing up a substantial amount of extra cap space in 2021:

The timing of that move seemed interesting, as June 1 also serves as a notable date for the release or trade of Ertz. The Eagles would save $8.5 million in 2021 on a trade/release of Ertz after June 1, but only $4,952,000 if they had traded/released him before then.

That led many to speculate that the added cap space the Bills cleared was earmarked for Ertz, though the Bills could also theoretically use it for a new contract for quarterback Josh Allen.

According to the daily NFLPA salary cap report, the Bills currently have $10,099,044 in cap space. Ertz's salary in 2021 is $8.5 million, so, you know, he would fit. And certainly, the Bills, a legitimate Super Bowl contender with a need at tight end, would probably make more sense than any other team in the NFL as a suitor for Ertz.

From the Eagles' perspective, the Ertz saga will become a significant story and possible distraction if he eventually becomes a holdout from training camp. The team is probably best served to accept whatever reasonable trade compensation they can get, and move on.

A heartfelt thank you to Merrill for providing easy content for me with absolutely nothing else going on in Eagles news. Gonna go enjoy a summer day now, K thanks bye. 🙏

(OK, so maybe it wasn't that easy given that I got the date wrong, but still going to enjoy that summer day though.)

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