Tight end Zach Ertz was at odds with the Philadelphia Eagles for much of the offseason, but things seem to have improved significantly.
Ertz said Wednesday that he has “mended” things with the team, adding that he wants to retire with Philadelphia and has never been happier.
Ertz’s issues with the Eagles date back to the end of the 2020 season, and stem largely from frustration with his contract. Trade rumors followed the tight end for much of the offseason, but nothing came of it. Ertz is entering the final season of his contract and is owed $8.5 million in 2021.
The 30-year-old is coming off the least productive season of his career, catching only 36 passes for 335 yards and one touchdown last season.
After losing out on the team’s starting quarterback job, Gardner Minshew is on his way out of Jacksonville.
As first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Jaguars have traded Minshew to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a conditional sixth-round pick.
Minshew’s situation doesn’t change that much, as he’ll essentially be backing up a young quarterback in Philadelphia as well. Jalen Hurts has been impressive during camp, so Minshew will be a backup and insurance policy for the Eagles along with Joe Flacco.
Minshew, who made famously clear that he wants to be an NFL starter again, has put together a respectable career when given the chance to play. In two seasons with the Jaguars, he threw 37 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions in 23 total games.
The Philadelphia Eagles placed a lot of confidence in Jalen Hurts when they drafted him in the second round last year, and the former Alabama star appears poised to reward the team for it this season.
There have been several reports this offseason about Hurts looking impressive in training camp. That theme apparently continued this week when the Eagles held joint practices with the New England Patriots. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler said on “Get Up!” Friday morning that NFL sources who were at those joint practices were surprised by Hurts’ accuracy. Fowler described Hurts as “surging.”
That meshes with a report from earlier in the week, which said Eagles players have been blown away by what they’ve seen from Hurts.
It will be interesting to see if Hurts lives up to the hype, especially since the Eagles have been consistently linked to Deshaun Watson. There seemed to be a feeling at one point that Hurts is not ready to start in the NFL, but that theory is sounding less accurate by the day.
The New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles have held joint practices this week ahead of their preseason game, and Cam Newton was on the receiving end of some serious smack talk during Tuesday’s session.
Eagles linebacker K’Von Wallace trolled Newton after the former MVP completed a couple of checkdown passes. Mike Kaye of NJ Advance Media says Wallace called Newton “checkdown king!” at one point as Newton threw to his running backs on consecutive plays.
Newton has had shoulder problems in the past and underwent surgery a little over two years ago. While he insisted that was not a factor in his poor 2021 season, there were times where he looked incapable of throwing the ball downfield. If that continues this season, he probably won’t keep his job for very long.
It hasn’t been all tension and smack talk between the Eagles and Patriots this week. For evidence of that, just look at the exchange Bill Belichick had with one Eagles player on Monday.
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Jalen Hurts didn’t put to rest every question about him possibly being the franchise quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles during his limited action last season. It sounds like he might be doing it in training camp, though.
ESPN’s Jordan Schultz reported Monday that there is a “fast-growing sentiment” around Eagles camp that Hurts is “undoubtedly” the franchise quarterback. Schultz added that Eagles players are “consistently blown away” by Hurts’ skill level and work ethic.
Hurts seemed to get off to a rough start in camp, but that will happen to 23-year-old quarterbacks. Evidently, he has stabilized himself brilliantly and looks to be in command of the offense.
There have been persistent rumors that the Eagles were in the hunt for a quarterback upgrade. If Hurts is as good as he sounds in this report, that won’t be necessary.
The Philadelphia Eagles are a team that have had trade interest in Deshaun Watson, and those talks are heating up according to a report.
CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso reported on Wednesday about the status of trade talks between the Eagles and Houston Texans. He says things are heating up, though there are some hurdles.
The hurdles are more like mountains, as in the mountain of lawsuits Watson is facing for alleged sexual assault. The quarterback is facing 22 civil lawsuits for his alleged misconduct with multiple masseuses. 10 women reportedly have filed police complaints against him.
Watson was seeking a trade prior to the avalanche of lawsuits that were filed against him. He still wants a trade.
Giving up assets to acquire a quarterback who has not yet been disciplined by the league is risky for any team. But the Eagles, who have Jalen Hurts as their starter entering the season, may not be deterred. Hurts does not seem to be bothered by the rumors either.
It’s been considered a guarantee that tight end Zach Ertz would be leaving the Philadelphia Eagles during the offseason. With training camp now looming, it appears that the opposite might just happen.
Eagles sideline reporter Howard Eskin reported Wednesday that there is now a “great chance” that Ertz will remain with the team for the start of the season. Eskin added that Ertz is “over the issues” that he had with the team dating back to 2020.
This is definitely a fairly abrupt shift for Ertz, who was rumored to be nearing a trade as recently as last month. He’s entering the final season of his deal and is due $8.5 million, and had been given permission to seek a trade after failing to agree to a contract extension. It’s pretty clear at this point that nothing materialized.
The 30-year-old’s issues with the Eagles stemmed from his contract, but there wasn’t much reason to extend him after he caught only 36 passes in 2020 and essentially fell behind Dallas Goedert in the tight end pecking order. Ertz may have simply realized that with no trade or release coming, his only real option is to show up and try to rebound in the hopes that his stock rebounds before he becomes a free agent after the 2021 season.
Deshaun Watson’s status remains unclear as training camp quickly approaches, but there is a chance the trade market for him could still heat up before the start of the regular season. If it does, the Philadelphia Eagles may be the team to watch.
During a Wednesday morning appearance on “The John Kincade Show” on 97.5 The Fanatic, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said the Eagles are in the best position to make a run at Watson should there be more clarity surrounding the star quarterback’s situation in the coming weeks.
“The Eagles are more equipped to make a run at DeShaun Watson than any other team out there,” Schefter said. “And if you put DeShaun Watson on the Philadelphia Eagles they become a Super Bowl contender right away.”
Schefter added that the Eagles will be “waiting” for when Watson’s legal issues are settled. He noted that Philadelphia once gave Michael Vick a second chance, so they might be the type of organization that would welcome Watson despite the sexual assault allegations against him.
The Eagles are hoping Jalen Hurts proves he can be a viable starter this season, but Watson is already an established star. It’s possible that Philly could wait until next offseason to try to acquire Watson, as they may have an extra first-round pick by then via the Carson Wentz trade.
Watson has been accused of sexual assault by multiple women who say they did massage therapy work for him. The NFL is still investigating the claims, though Watson had not been interviewed by the league as of a few weeks ago.
Many assume Watson will either be suspended by the NFL or placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List. The league probably wants to come to a decision before the start of the season, even if the lawsuits against Watson have the potential to drag into next year.
The Philadelphia Eagles have been shopping Zach Ertz in trade talks since the end of last season, but they have yet to find a new home for the tight end. That does not mean he will return to the team in 2021.
Ertz did not report to the second phase of the Eagles’ voluntary offseason program on Monday, which was not a surprise. According to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Ertz is not planning to show up while the team moves toward either trading or releasing him.
The Eagles explored signing Ertz to a contract extension at one point last year, but negotiations between the two sides turned ugly. It became clear at that point that a divorce was inevitable.
Ertz had his worst NFL season last year, though an ankle injury was a big factor in that. He caught just 36 passes for 335 yards and one touchdown.
The Eagles would obviously prefer to trade Eertz, but that has already proved to be a difficult task. He’s on the wrong side of 30, coming off a bad year and carries a salary cap hit of more than $12 million in 2021. Releasing Ertz may be the team’s only option.
The Texans have been in a holding pattern with Deshaun Watson since multiple women accused him of sexual assault. It is unclear whether the star quarterback still wants out of Houston or if a trade is possible given the circumstances, but apparently at least one team remains interested.
Peter King wrote in his latest NBC Sports column that his “gut feeling” is Watson will be with a new team when the 2022 season begins. He then listed some of his own odds for where Watson might end up, and the Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers topped the list at 3-to-1. The Eagles will have an extra first-round pick next year if Carson Wentz plays at least 75 percent of the offensive snaps with the Indianapolis Colts, which could put them in a strong position to deal for Watson.
The Eagles are hoping Jalen Hurts proves he can be a viable NFL starter this season. That said, Mike Fisher of TexansDaily.com was told by a source that Watson is “still in play” for Philly. The timetable for when a Watson trade might take place is unclear, but Fisher reports that the Eagles are definitely still interested.
Watson is facing sexual assault lawsuits from 22 women who say they provided massage therapy for him in the past. The NFL is conducting its own investigation of the allegations, and Watson will almost certainly be suspended if not placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt list.
A recent report claimed the Texans are in the process of moving on from Watson.