Jaguars are seen as potential landing spot for TE Zach Ertz

Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz (86) Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz (86) Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

You have probably heard that tight end is a position of need for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Although they had the chance to sign someone like Jonnu Smith or Hunter Henry in free agency, they chose not to. They also had the opportunity to add a prospect in an early round of this year’s draft but they opted to wait until the fifth to take Luke Farrell. There are still a few tight ends available in the free-agent market but if the Jags don’t like any of them and still want an upgrade, they could explore a trade.

Maurice Moton recently drew up a list of potential landing spots for Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz and Jacksonville popped up. Moton believes the three-time Pro Bowl selection wouldn’t face much competition for the top spot on the depth chart. He adds that the Jaguars would be making rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence a big favor by adding a reliable big target to the offense.

Moton notes that Ertz hasn’t shown up to Philly’s offseason program and he will remain away from the team until he’s traded or released, per Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer. A 2013 second-round selection, the Stanford product was one of the most productive tight ends in the NFL until last year, when injuries, a contract impasse, and instability at quarterback hindered his production. From 2014 to 2019, he averaged 81 receptions, 879 receiving yards and five touchdowns per season. Moreover, he earned three Pro Bowl designations in that span.

Last season, Ertz expressed frustration about the deal he has in Philadelphia and said he would play as if the 2020 season was his last one with the Eagles. His contract situation never changed. Philly just signed tight end Richard Rodgers, so it may just be a matter of time before they finally trade Ertz.

Here’s why the Jacksonville Jaguars should trade for Zach Ertz.

The Eagles were asking for a third-round pick in exchange for Ertz, but a fourth or fifth-round selection might be a fair price at this point. The tight end had a career-low 335 receiving yards and just one touchdown on 36 receptions. Nevertheless, pretty much every player on Philly’s roster struggled last year, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get back on track in 2021 despite the fact he’s 30.

The Jaguars’ top tight ends at this moment are Chris Manhertz and James O’Shaughnessy. The former will have a key role as a blocker in red-zone and short-yardage situations while the latter is a good backup. However, neither of them adds much to the passing game. Rookie Luke Farrell is a project and may not have an impact right out the gate. Then, there’s Tim Tebow, who may not have a role as a traditional tight end.

This Jacksonville team has a crowded wide receiver corps, a young running back tandem, and a quarterback that can take advantage of all the weapons he will have at his disposal. The Jaguars’ offense just needs a number-one tight end. That’s why trading for Ertz makes sense.

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