NFL Writer Floats Patriots Trade Idea: Joe Thuney For Eagles’ Zach Ertz

Ertz and the Eagles might be nearing the end of their road together

by Marcus Kwesi O'Mard

Oct 21, 2020

Is New England the perfect place for Zach Ertz to have a fresh start?

CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin on Tuesday proposed the New England Patriots trade All-Pro offensive lineman Joe Thuney to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for their aforementioned star tight end. The deal is among 10 trade ideas Benjamin floated that he believes would “make sense” for both sides ahead of the Nov. 8 NFL trade deadline.

After earning Pro Bowl nods every season between 2017 and 2019, Ertz is off to a slow start start to the 2020 NFL season, as are his Eagles. His contract will expire after next season, and the Eagles might consider trading him to be more prudent than inking him to another big-money deal.

Thuney is playing under the franchise tag this season, and some NFL pundits have included his name in Patriots trade rumors. Furthermore, New England’s lack of production from their tight ends often is cited among the primary reasons for their ongoing offensive struggles.

Here’s Benjamin’s take on an Ertz-Thuney swap.

“A rare player-for-player swap, and boy, is it a juicy one!” Benjamin wrote. “Here’s the deal: The Eagles and Patriots love to trade with each other. The Eagles have all the reason in the world to thank Ertz for his years of great work and then bid him farewell, what with Dallas Goedert in town and Ertz both a.) off to an uncharacteristically ugly start in 2020 and b.) seeking a big-money extension. The Patriots, meanwhile, could desperately use that Rob Gronkowski replacement they’ve failed to unearth, and have already passed the deadline to get a long-term deal done with Thuney, who’s on the franchise tag and has reportedly been dangled before.

“Ertz’s recent ankle injury complicates this, but assuming he’s good to go in three or four weeks, that’s right around when the Pats would need him for their final AFC East push. Thuney, meanwhile, is a plug-and-play upgrade at pretty much any interior spot on the O-line, where the Eagles have been totally ravaged by injuries but must keep Carson Wentz upright. Philly would then have multiple options after the season: Extend Thuney, who’s only 27, as a long-term guard or even Jason Kelce successor; or let him walk, free up major 2021 cap space and collect the inevitable compensatory pick.”

NFL Experts would have to weigh in on whether the Patriots would suffer without Thuney or soar with Ertz in tow. Nevertheless, the trade is an intriguing idea to consider in the coming days.

Thumbnail photo via Stew Milne/USA TODAY Sports Images
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