The Drive with Jody Oehler

The Drive with Jody Oehler

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Does Zach Ertz Put the Cardinals Over the Top?

The Cardinals started NFL Trade SZN with a splash on Friday morning, acquiring record breaking Pro Bowl TE Zach Ertz from the Philadelphia Eagles.

The move comes after Maxx Williams knee exploded against the 49ers as he was on a record breaking pace for a Cardinals tight end.

Ertz, who had a record 118 catches for a tight end in 2018, has been in trade purgatory for the last 18 months gets a fresh start with one of the NFL’s most explosive offenses and one of the NFL’s most accurate passers in Kyler Murray.

First off, I like the trade. The Cardinals offense is the identity of their team and adding a proven playmaker is never a bad thing.

What I like most honestly about the deal is its basically receiver insurance for the team. AJ Green hasn’t started 16 games in a season in four years, DeAndre Hopkins name is regularly on the injury report even if he has only missed one game in the last three seasons and now the Cardinals have incredible depth if any of their top 4 WR’s goes down.

Where I think some are getting a little carried away is I’m not sure exactly what role Ertz can have on this team.

He’s a completely different player than Maxx Williams. Williams was an offensive lineman who could run and catch. Ertz is a wide receiver who had a growth spurt. Williams was a rock solid blocker and an excellent tackle breaker on short yardage situations. Ertz is more Dan Arnold than Maxx Williams.

That being said, Ertz can still be a safety blanket as Williams was. Out of structure, Williams was an invaluable option for Kyler. It felt like most of his catches were of the soul crushing variety for defenses. DHop covered? Check. AJ Green blanketed? Check. Christian Kirk taken out of the play? Check. Maxx Williams? DAMNIT!

The Cardinals don’t need record breaking Zach Ertz, they need hopefully everyone forgets about me on a play Zach Ertz.

Another interesting point made by Kyle Odegard, would the Cardinals have been better off using the money and resources to acquire Stephon Gilmore? Obviously there are different questions about Gilmore and less of an immediate need given the outstanding play of the secondary but Gilmore probably comes in handy in any playoff matchup.

So is this trade the home run that many immediately celebrated it to be?

No but its a stand up double and just making contact is a great thing for a Cardinals team with eyes on the real prize at the end of the season.

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