Should the Arizona Cardinals trade Zach Ertz in 2023?
By Sion Fawkes
We know the Arizona Cardinals are busy shopping DeAndre Hopkins. But is Zach Ertz also a viable candidate to be traded?
If the Arizona Cardinals are interested in maximizing their draft haul in 2023, they should look into trading any and all pieces who have a successor waiting in the wings on the roster. Zach Ertz fits this bill more than anyone else, thanks to then-rookie Trey McBride’s performance late in 2022.
Ertz missed seven games last season with a torn ACL in mid-November, so there is a chance that he could miss time early in the season. However, if a team is looking to embark on a playoff run in need of a TE2, or in some cases, a TE1, there is a chance they could swap a Day 3 draft pick for Ertz, set him aside, and wait until the 32-year-old is cleared to play.
Arizona Cardinals should look into trading Zach Ertz
While the impending DeAndre Hopkins trade has garnered the highest amount of attention for obvious reasons, the Cardinals should also be shopping Ertz. No, he won’t attain anywhere near the trade compensation that Hopkins should get, but at the same time, it would be clear that the Cards have put their complete trust in rolling with Trey McBride as the TE1.
Per SpoTrac, trading Ertz would result in a dead cap of $7.5 million if they traded him before June 1st. However, they are also looking at $5.105 million in cap savings.
Overall, trading Ertz would be a good idea on many fronts. And while the Cards won’t get anything more out of it than a Day 3 draft pick, they would save cap space and put their trust in McBride as the TE1.
They could benefit more if they waited to trade Ertz after June 1st, which once more, per SpoTrac, the Cards would save money, but an even greater $9.105 million, while just $3.5 million would go against the dead cap in 2023, and $4 million in 2024. The only downside? They wouldn’t spend any acquired draft pick until 2024.
Source: Two Trade Candidates for Arizona Cardinals by Donnie Druin, SI.com