Eagles tried to trade Zach Ertz before injury, still shopping Alshon Jeffery, per report


The Philadelphia Eagles and Zach Ertz were at a stalemate in contract negotiations, and Philadelphia appeared ready to move on from its single-season all-time receptions leader. Per Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, the Eagles took calls on Ertz before moving him to injured reserve with the ankle injury that sidelined him for four-to-six weeks. 

Philadelphia designated Ertz as having a minor injury when he was placed on IR, which meant Ertz couldn’t be dealt — but Breer pointed out the Eagles delayed putting Ertz on injured reserve for a few days, raising some eyebrows around the league. Another player the Eagles have on the trade block is Alshon Jeffery, who the front office has tried to deal on multiple occasions over the course of the past calendar year. Jeffery has yet to play a game this season as he still is recovering from a LisFranc injury from last December. 

Ertz has been struggling on the field for the Eagles before his injury, averaging a career-low 7.4 yards per catch with just one touchdown in six games. He was on pace for just 475 receiving yards — which would have been his lowest total since his rookie season in 2013. Ertz had nine catches for 48 yards over his past three games before the injury. 

Jeffery has essentially been replaced in the Eagles’ lineup by Travis Fulgham, who has emerged as the best wide receiver on the team since being called up from the practice squad in Week 4. Fulgham’s 284 receiving yards over the past three weeks rank fifth in the NFL and his three receiving touchdowns are tied for second in the league. Jeffery has a cap number of $18,486,500 in 2021 — the final year of his contract — but the Eagles can save $7,977,000 in cap space by releasing him (per Over the Cap). 

Ertz has a cap number of $12,471,500 in 2021 — the final year of his contract — but has been seeking a raise after George Kittle and Travis Kelce received extensions this offseason. Ertz has been frustrated over negotiations as the Eagles seek to get younger across the roster (Ertz will turn 30 later this year) and doesn’t appear to have room for the player who caught the winning touchdown pass in Super Bowl LII. 

Despite all Ertz has given to the Eagles, his career is heading toward ending on another team — a reality Ertz is preparing to face. 

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