Whether they surprise the NFL universe or not, the Arizona Cardinals could be active in working the phones even during the early stages of the 2023 season. One reason is that, since they are intent on becoming a younger football team, they can continue resetting the roster for 2024.
Therefore, look for some of the team’s aging players to perhaps wear a different uniform at some point during the regular season. One of those players is Zach Ertz, the 32-year-old who will be heading into his 11th season in the NFL.
Before his knee injury, Ertz showed he can still play, tallying 47 receptions for 406 yards, and four touchdowns in just 10 games. Ertz’s injury, however, opened the door for Trey McBride, who more than exceeded expectations in Ertz’s absence.
Arizona Cardinals should look to trade Zach Ertz in 2023
I pondered whether the Cards should look to trade Ertz a few months back. And today, I’m confident in that proclamation, since it would benefit the Cardinals and a tight end-needy contender this season.
Arizona Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort should have no trouble sending Ertz elsewhere for a mid-round draft pick. Trading Ertz would let the Cards save an additional $9.105 million in cap space this season, and they would face a dead cap of just $3.5 million in 2023 and $4 million in 2024.
For a team looking to get younger, this helps the Cards in two ways. It gives them yet another draft pick to add to their pile of 2024 picks. And trading Ertz also gives them extra cap space if Ossenfort (and there is every reason to believe he is), looking to sign those he identifies as key players to contract extensions.
Given Trey McBride’s emergence, plus the fact Ertz is on the wrong side of 30, and since Ossenfort should want more draft picks and cap space this season, the Arizona Cardinals can’t go wrong trading Ertz this season, especially if we discover he can return early from his knee injury.
(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference, salary cap information provided by Spotrac)
Source: Denver Broncos 3 trade ideas with the Arizona Cardinals for 2023 by Lou Scataglia, PredominantlyOrange.com