The Jet Press
Jets News

NY Jets should seriously pursue former Pro Bowl TE Zach Ertz

Allen Settle
NY Jets, Zach Ertz
NY Jets, Zach Ertz / Patrick Smith/Getty Images
facebooktwitterreddit

As the 2021 NFL season quickly approaches, a hot name has surfaced on the trade rumors circuit. Former Pro Bowler and Super Bowl Champion, tight end Zach Ertz, is reportedly on the market.

Coincidentally, the NY Jets are just days away from kicking off the season without a reliable tight end option for star rookie Zach Wilson.

Should New York take the plunge and pursue the veteran pass-catcher? As things currently stand, the Jets would be an ideal fit for Ertz's services. Here are a few reasons why.

Zach Ertz's Talent

At his best, Ertz is in the top-tier of pass-catching tight ends. During his eight-year NFL career (all with the Philadelphia Eagles), the veteran has averaged a respectable 70 receptions, 760 yards, and 4.5 touchdowns per season.

The three-time Pro Bowler was a particularly dominant force during a three-year stretch from 2017-2019. During that span, the Stanford star averaged a staggering 93 receptions, 968 yards, and seven scores per campaign.

This catapulted Ertz into the realm generally occupied by transcendent talents such as Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce.

Currently, the former star is projected to post a very useful 50 catches, 511 yards, and 3-4 touchdowns this season.

While this is a drop-off from his prime level of production, it still places Ertz in the tier of above-average NFL tight end. This type of talent would be quite useful for a team like the Jets.

The NY Jets' need at tight end

This claim is particularly true in light of the Jets' current tight end situation. New York is currently slated to begin the year with an uninspiring Tyler Kroft as their starter.

For the sake of context, Kroft has averaged just 14 receptions and 142 yards per season during his six-year professional career. The NFL's best pass-catchers are able to come close to this total in a single game.

The only other tight end option on the depth chart is Daniel Brown who is almost exclusively a special-teamer.

A player like Ertz would give the Jets a legitimate weapon in the middle of the field. While he no longer projects as an elite option, the Eagles tight end is a veteran player who would provide a much-needed safety net for Wilson.

This could be a massive luxury for New York's rookie signal-caller as the team tries to develop their top draft pick into a future star.

Imagine the difference a player like Ertz could make. Despite Wilson's considerable skill, the speed of the leap to the NFL is a major hurdle for any rookie.

As pass rushers close in, the BYU superstar will have only seconds to make decisions that could make or break his season — and the Jets franchise as a whole.

Having a player like Ertz, who has the savviness to find openings in the defense or to provide a timely block could be a major difference-maker.

The Verdict

Jets fans need to understand that the current incarnation of Ertz is not the 1,000+ yard receiver they may remember from his Eagles prime. Now 30-years-old, he is closer to the twilight of his career than his heyday.

However, he is still a viable option who may carry a relatively low price tag. In the absence of a legitimate superstar receiver outside the hash marks, Ertz could join a core that currently features Corey Davis, Jamison Crowder, and Elijah Moore to create a formidable unit of playmakers.

Of course, the Jets would have to overcome the obstacle that is the fact that Ertz has seemingly smoothed things over with his team.

Next. NY Jets: 4 free agents the team could sign before Week 1. dark

But if possible, the Jets would be wise to seriously pursue a union with the former Pro Bowler in the coming days.

facebooktwitterreddit