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Would trading for Zach Ertz strengthen the Colts’ TE group?

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles have been looking for a suitable trade partner for tight end Zach Ertz for quite some time now. For awhile, the Colts were in need of a playmaking tight end, and the team had been named a prime landing spot for the veteran tight end.

After drafting Kylen Granson in the fourth round, it became clear the Colts were going in a different direction at that position. Who knows, though. Perhaps the team has some interest in Ertz. But would bringing in the 30-year-old really make the team’s tight end group better?

Let’s think about it like this. Jack Doyle, who’s currently 31-years-old, is due for a contract extension here soon. Is he going to be extended? I’m not so sure. While he hasn’t been a top-tier at his position, Doyle has been fairly consistent for Indy.

For Doyle’s standards, however, his numbers have tailed off a bit over the last few seasons. Just last season, the veteran tight end had a total of 23 receptions for 251 yards and 3 touchdowns. That being said, Doyle is also far-and-away the team’s best run blocker, and we know how important it is to be able to run block as a tight end in Frank Reich’s scheme.

Mo Alie-Cox has had his moments, but he hasn’t really been a consistent, go-to target for any of the Colts’ signal callers over the last few seasons. His numbers did improve last season, though, as he caught 31 passes for 394 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Colts are certainly hoping the 27-year-old tight end can continue to enhance his game and become a more reliable target.

Additionally, Indy is also very high on Granson. The 6’3” tight end could very well provide Reich and new offensive coordinator Marcus Brady with more of a vertical threat at the position — something the team has been missing since the departure of Eric Ebron.

Keeping all of these things in mind, I don’t think Indianapolis plans on making a move toward acquiring Ertz. Sure, reuniting him with QB Carson Wentz would make for one heck of a story and would be enjoyable to watch, too. Wentz even had a ton of success in two-tight end sets under Reich in 2017. In fact, Ertz was one of Wentz’s primary targets in both ‘17 and ‘18, catching a grand total of 190 passes for 2,037 yards and 16 touchdowns, per pro football reference.

I believe that, going into the offseason, the Colts’ plan was to get younger at tight end and to find more of a playmaker who can stretch the field vertically. The team now has that in Granson, they’re still very high on Alie-Cox’s capabilities, and I don’t imagine the Colts plan on letting Doyle walk out the door either. So, while making a move for the three-time Pro Bowler would certainly be interesting, I don’t believe acquiring Ertz would strengthen Indy’s current tight end group.