Jacksonville Jaguars: 3 trade alternatives to TE Zach Ertz

Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz (86) Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz (86) Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Jacksonville Jaguars have had a successful offseason. They added depth and a few players in free agency. Furthermore, they acquired a few building blocks and a franchise quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft. Nevertheless, they could still upgrade their tight end room. Tim Tebow could be a solid weapon in the red zone and short-yardage situations but the team could still add a tight end via trade.

You might’ve heard that Zach Ertz could land in Jacksonville. It’s not an official report but the idea makes sense on paper. The Jaguars need help at tight end and the three-time Pro Bowl nod hasn’t shown to the Philadelphia Eagles’ offseason program and will remain away until he is traded or released. Before this year’s draft, Philly wanted a mid-round pick in exchange for the Stanford product but that asking price might’ve scared potential suitors away.

The Jaguars should keep inquiring about Ertz’s availability but should look around for other alternatives. Here are three alternative trade options to the Eagles tight end:

These three tight ends could help the Jacksonville Jaguars.

1. David Njoku 

This one has been suggested before, and may not be the best of the options. After all, David Njoku has dealt with injuries throughout his four-year career and has missed 15 games. On the other hand, it looks like the Cleveland Browns never figure how to use the 29th overall pick in 2017’s draft. Njoku has caught 112 passes for 1,279 yards with 11 touchdowns in 49 games. Maybe the Jaguars’ new coaching staff could finally untap his potential.

Trading for the former Hurricane may not cost much, as the Browns have other options at tight end, including Austin Hooper. Njoku’s $6.013 million contract is fully guaranteed but the Jags have enough cap space to make a deal happen. The tight end and the Browns are reportedly in a good place right now but one phone call could change that at any time.

2. Hayden Hurst 

This one has previously come up too. Hayden Hurst had a career year in 2020, logging 56 receptions for 571 receiving yards and six touchdowns. Jacksonville would surely welcome that kind of production from the tight-end position. The fact the Atlanta Falcons took Kyle Pitts with the fourth overall pick in this year’s selection meeting might make Hurst expendable. The South Carolina product was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 2018 but was traded to the Falcons last season.

Even if Hurst is the starter in Week 1, Pitts will eventually take over, so he might see a drop in production in 2021. The 2018 first-round pick could easily become the number-one tight end in Jacksonville. He’s set to become a free agent next year but the Jags could bring him back if he exceeds expectations in his one-year tryout.

3. Foster Moreau

It would be unreasonable to try to trade for someone like Travis Kelce or Darren Waller. Instead, the Jaguars need to scout other team’s rosters and look for players that could flourish with them. Foster Moreau showed in his rookie season he could be a solid red-zone option, hauling in 20 receptions with five touchdowns. However, the 2019 fourth-round pick just had seven receptions for 140 yards and two touchdowns in 2020. His role might increase now that Jason Witten has retired, but even then, Waller will still be the Silver and Black’s top tight end.

The Raiders might not be interested in trading Moreau, but if they aren’t going to use him much, why even keep him? It won’t hurt the Jaguars to call their fellow AFC team and see how much they want in exchange for the third-year tight end.

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