The Indianapolis Colts are expected to be one of the teams interested in acquiring Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz this offseason according to multiple independent sources. Ertz is currently in year four of a five-year extension he signed with the team back in 2017.
The relationship between Ertz and the Eagles reached a tipping point this past season as it is commonly known around the league that the Eagles are looking to move on from the former All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowler. The Eagles did field offers for Ertz at the trade deadline this year but opted to wait until the offseason in hopes of getting a better return in a trade. Ertz holds a 12 million dollar cap hit this upcoming season and then has a team option for a 3.5 million dollar cap hit in 2022.
For the Colts, the connection between Ertz and Frank Reich is obvious as Reich spent time as his Offensive Coordinator from 2017-2018 when the team won the Super Bowl. A source tells me that their relationship has remained strong over the years. Adding to that, another source tells me that Coach Reich uses film of Ertz in the tight end meetings to break down certain play concepts and designs that the team likes to run, hinting that Reich views Ertz as the type of tight end he needs/wants in this offense.
The Colts aren’t a lock to acquire Ertz this offseason, as I’ve heard there will be at least three other teams looking into him as well, but they should have the inside track. With the amount of cap space the Colts have, the mutual interest on both sides to get this done, and the relationship between Reich and Ertz, there is a good chance of this deal happening at some point during the offseason.
The expectation is that if Ertz is traded, it shouldn’t be for more than a conditional day three pick at best. If Chris Ballard is willing to part with that, then Zach Ertz could very well be reunited with Frank Reich in this Colts’ offense in 2021.
Here is an old video of Colts’ Head Coach Frank Reich talking about Zach Ertz in his offense from the Eagles Eye in the Sky Podcast a few years back:
Always love seeing overlap between the Eagles with Reich as OC and the Colts with Reich as HC. Let's look at two clips here. First one is Reich talking about putting defenders in a bind using a stacked look off the line and a switch release to confuse coverage: pic.twitter.com/mSpIIXpWTU— Zach Hicks (@ZachHicks2) September 10, 2020