Future Hall of Famer JJ Watt might be retired from football. But that doesn’t mean he’s done with the game. He’s dabbled in NFL content from TV to reporting and today he dropped some big news - Arizona Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz asked for his release and has been granted it. So Ertz, being a long-time veteran, will not need to pass through waivers and will immediately become a free agent who can sign with any team. Let’s look at some possible landing spots and consider the implications for fantasy football.


Trey McBride - Wheels Up

The Cardinals are in a full rebuild so Zach Ertz likely doesn’t want to hang around for that. But there’s another reason he probably wants out. Second-year tight end Trey McBride has been lighting it up lately and Ertz was likely to return to a backup role. Over the last six weeks, Trey McBride’s 25.3% target share is second only to T.J. Hockenson. He is among the top tight ends in route participation, yards per route run, pass block percentage, and percentage of snaps run from a WR spot. The only remaining concerns for him were his Week 14 bye week and the return of Zach Ertz. One of those is obviously not a problem so we moved him up to TE4 in our rest of season tight end rankings.

Zach Ertz Landing Spots

Philadelphia Eagles

This one makes too much sense. Their current starting tight end, Dallas Goedert, has a broken arm. The fans love Ertz and would happily accept him back to be a part of their Super Bowl run this year. The Eagles really haven’t had much success out of the slot with Julio Jones, Quez Watkins, and Olamide Zaccheus so Ertz would have a role even when Goedert returns. Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon came over from the Eagles himself where he worked with Ertz so him granting this request to leave his 2-10 team to rejoin the 10-1 Eagles isn’t farfetched.

Baltimore Ravens

Another obvious one. Mark Andrews was injured early on against the Bengals on Thursday Night Football and that ankle injury has been reported as likely season ending. Isaiah Likely stepped right into that role but the jury is still out on how much of that crucial production he can replace. Signing Zach Ertz to compete with Likely for what was the single most important offensive weapon for this team would be smart on their part as the Ravens prepare for the 2023 playoffs.

Dallas Cowboys

This one is less obvious but there were rumors at the trade deadline that the Cowboys were interested in acquiring Zach Ertz from the Eagles. If that were the case, why wouldn’t they still be interested in acquiring him without having to give up any draft picks in return? They have Jake Ferguson as an inline tight end but would deploy Peyton Hendershot as a “move” tight end out of the slot at times. Hendershot went on the IR and hasn’t returned yet. Even if Hendershot were good to go, Ertz is an obvious upgrade for that role.