Three-time Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz wants to play for a contender and the Arizona Cardinals granted him that wish this past week. After clearing waivers, the veteran tight end is now a free agent during the prime time of the NFL schedule.
At 33, Ertz is not the athletic pass-catching tight end he once was, but he is still very much capable of making plays.
Though injuries have slowed him, Ertz had 27 catches for 187 yards and a touchdown in seven games with the Cardinals and is coming off a 2022 season in which he had 47 catches for 406 yards and four touchdowns. Far from the numbers he had during his top seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, but as a depth piece and veteran presence on a team that already has a top tight end option.
When exploring teams that would be a great fit for Ertz, the teams that come to mind may be obvious, but each team could benefit from adding Ertz in different ways.
San Francisco 49ers add depth with Zach Ertz
The San Francisco 49ers don’t have a desperate need at the tight end position, but adding a veteran like Zach Ertz would give the Super Bowl contending squad some depth at the position.
Wouldn’t he look good in the 49ers offense alongside Pro Bowl tight end George Kittle?
With his recent injury history, Ertz isn’t as athletic as he was during his days with the Philadelphia Eagles, but he could still be an effective target in the middle of the field or as an underneath type receiver in an offense loaded like the 49ers.
He would also give Brock Purdy another reliable option in the short passing game while opposing defenses will be locked on Kittle, Deebo Samuel, and Brandon Aiyuk, never mind Christian McCaffrey out of the backfield.
It all looks good on paper, especially if Ertz comes at an affordable price, which he should. With his desire to play for a championship contending team, the 49ers are an interesting fit for the veteran tight end in a decreased role, which at this point in his care, could make him more effective.