The Eagles traded three-time Pro Bowl tight end, Zach Ertz, to the Cardinals on Friday, and the national media reaction was about what you’d expect.
Ertz has been the subject of trade rumors for months, and the 2-4 start, coupled with Tyree Jackson’s return seems to have made this transaction easier to stomach.
Here’s some national reaction to the trade.
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Cardinals high powered offense gets more heat
It gives the Cardinals’ seventh-ranked passing game even more firepower to complement the likes of DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green, Christian Kirk and Rondale Moore. Ertz also bolsters Arizona’s eighth-ranked run game.
Before acquiring Ertz, the Cardinals targeted tight ends the third-lowest amount in the NFL, according to ESPN Stats & Information. That should change.
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(AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Howie Roseman loves Tyree Jackson
“Then you talk about our young guys, and I think what changed a little for us was the surprise of camp,” Roseman said, “and it was just camp because we didn’t see it in the preseason games, was Tyree (Jackson) and just seeing how he’s working to get back and the skills that he has in his body.
“We want to make sure that we’re going into next year knowing as much as we could. If he’s going to look like he did during training camp, like, that’s going to be a player for us. But he’s got to show it in games. And this is an opportunity for him to come back and for us to see that. We don’t think that’s just a shot in the dark. We think this guy’s got some traits.”
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Cardinals serious contenders after landing Ertz.
The Cardinals needed a pass-catching tight end if they were serious about contending for the NFC West — and the Super Bowl. With Maxx Williams being lost for the season (knee), Arizona had just Demetrius Harris and Darrell Daniels as tight ends on their roster. Neither has a catch yet this season, and it was asking too much for either to be a consistent contributor in the offense.
Ertz can be the difference between the Cardinals being a “one-and-done” playoff team or going deep in the postseason. He’s another excellent veteran to add to that locker room — and a player they should sign past this season.
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Tay Gowan acquisition gets a B grade.
Getting a fifth-round pick is a hit or miss, but Gowan seems to fit in the cornerback plans for Philadelphia. Gowan appeared to be a Day 3 steal in the sixth round this year, as his 26.2 passer rating in single coverage since 2019 was the second lowest in college football. Gowan makes plays on the ball and fits the coverage scheme Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon likes to run.
So where does Gowan fit in this defense? Darius Slay and Steve Nelson are the starters on the outside and Avonte Maddox mans the slot, but using added cornerback depth to develop a young player at that position benefits the Eagles down the road. Gowan was on the 53-man roster, but was a game day inactive for all five games Arizona played. With Zech McPhearson and Josiah Scott also on the roster, expect Gowan to continue being a project for the Eagles as a game day inactive going forward. The Eagles will continue to develop Gowan in the hopes he can contribute in 2022, especially with Nelson and Maddox hitting free agency after the season.
Impact for Goedert going forward?
In an odd way, this could be better for the offense because it will make the playing time distribution easier to determine and perhaps allow Goedert to get in more of a rhythm on the field. The Eagles were trying to play both Goedert and Ertz, and neither player was on the field as much as he wanted. Goedert has not played more than 74 percent of the offensive snaps in his five games this season (he missed Thursday’s game while on the COVID-19/reserve list) and has not been targeted more than five times in a game. Look for Goedert to take on an even bigger role in the offense and be the undisputed No. 1 tight end.
“If you take all Zach’s targets and all Dallas’ targets and you put them into one, you’ve got pretty impressive stats right there,” said Sirianni, referencing the 33 catches for 405 yards and four touchdowns for the two tight ends this season. “That would be up in the tops of the league with the tight ends. … Now you’ve got Dallas that’s going to take a major, major portion of that load of targets and of plays. Obviously, they were sharing that load.”
The days of Philadelphia being teams with 12 personnel is dead and gone, as Sirianni will look to employ an athletic three-wide receiver set.