Zach Ertz should be an offseason priority for the Cardinals

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) Zach Ertz
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) Zach Ertz /

The Arizona Cardinals need a whole lot more out of Zach Ertz than the 12 appearances he made for the club this past season.

Back in October, Steve Keim received high marks for acquiring a Pro Bowl tight end for the Arizona Cardinals. It was an outstanding trade that allowed that to happen, but the general manager must now juggle the finances to prevent Zach Ertz from leaving as a free agent.

The five-year contract that Ertz signed with the Philadelphia Eagles is about to expire. It was nice to have the 31-year-old for the final 12 matchups (one in the playoffs) of the season, but the Cards knew all along that keeping Ertz for any amount of time beyond that was never guaranteed.

Ertz showed how valuable of a weapon he could be during his abbreviated amount of appearances with Arizona. The 6-foot-5, 250-pounder hauled in 56 passes for 574 yards and three touchdowns in his 11 regular-season contests for the squad. The Cardinals had not employed a top-tier tight end in quite some time, but Ertz proved that he could certainly handle that role.

Retaining Zach Ertz in 2022 could become a challenge for the Arizona Cardinals

This coming offseason, Keim and his cohorts will be dealing with an in-house free agent list that’s peppered with key players. Working with what projects to be a limited amount of salary-cap space will not make their job any easier. Even so, it would behoove the Cards front office to do everything in its power to keep Ertz around in 2022 and beyond.

Arizona was thrown into dire straits at the tight end position back in October when starter Maxx Williams tore his ACL during a victory over the San Francisco 49ers. With the remaining two options being Darrell Daniels and Demetrius Harris, the organization realized that an upgrade was an absolute necessity.

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The Cardinals management team is going to be quite busy in the coming months. Crucial personnel evaluations will have to be made. But when you have a productive leader like Ertz already in your locker room, the decision to keep him in the desert should be a no-brainer.