Eagles, Bengals Swap First-Round Picks in Crazy Trade Idea

Eagles, Bengals Swap First-Round Picks in Crazy Trade Idea

The Philadelphia Eagles have begun the slow process of getting younger, including asking several high-profile veterans to restructure their contracts. But one surprising name remains on the roster: Zach Ertz.

Ertz, the three-time Pro Bowl tight end, is expected to be traded before training camp and maybe prior to the start of the new league year on March 17. The franchise has no intention of giving him the lucrative pay raise the 30-year-old Super Bowl champion is seeking. And the Indianapolis Colts, Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Chargers have all reportedly inquired about Ertz in recent weeks.

Now Bleacher Report has proposed a crazy new trade rumor that sends Ertz to the Cincinnati Bengals. It entails the Eagles giving up Ertz plus the sixth overall pick next month in exchange for the fifth overall pick in this year’s draft and a fifth-rounder in 2021. Interesting.

The wild idea doesn’t make a ton of sense for Cincinnati who is looking to build a young nucleus around second-year quarterback Joe Burrow. Ertz carries a $12.5 million cap hit in 2021, per Spotrac, and the aging veteran is due $8.25 million in base salary.

The Bengals want to get younger and already sunk $18 million into 32-year-old wide receiver A.J. Green last year. As Sports Illustrated’s Bengals Fan Nation wrote: “This trade is too cute to be realistic for the Bengals.”

Ertz Looking to Reunite with Carson Wentz?
There was a slew of reports linking Ertz to the Indianapolis Colts last month, potentially as a sweetener in a trade for Carson Wentz.

Well, the one-time Eagles franchise quarterback left town to reunite with Frank Reich in a solo deal but there is still a feeling that the star tight end might end up in Indianapolis. Remember, Ertz and Wentz are good friends on and off the field and share a special bond over their religious faith. Maybe Wentz presses the Colts’ front office to make a move.

The not-so-crazy idea was proposed by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler during an appearance on SportsCenter on Sunday (h/t to Nick Kosko of 24/7 Sports for finding this nugget): “The Eagles are over 40 million in a cap deficit. They need to shed some salary,” Fowler said. “It’s largely expected that those parties will move on, but they want to try to get some value for him. A lot of teams need a tight end. Perhaps the Colts will reunite him with Carson Wentz.”

Kyle Pitts Compared to Darren Waller
The Eagles are reportedly very high on Florida’s Kyle Pitts and may make the explosive tight end from Florida the sixth overall pick in April’s draft. Pitts could go even higher, per ESPN’s Mel Kiper, and become the first tight end taken in the top-five since 1972.

Kiper’s colleague, Todd McShay, put Pitts in a midnight green jersey in his latest mock draft and compared the 6-foot-6, 240-pounder to Darren Waller of the Las Vegas Raiders. He’s that good.

I mean, he’s Darren Waller — and no one really knows Darren Waller because he plays for the Raiders, but he’s had 197 catches the last two years. And Pitts can play inside, he can play in the slot, he can play out wide. He’s a matchup piece that you’re really looking for today.

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