The Arizona Cardinals and general manager Steve Keim are not messing around. They proved that the Super Bowl is the goal with the big Zach Ertz trade.
The Arizona Cardinals are not messing around this season. The NFL’s lone remaining undefeated team has just made a huge move to further strengthen their offensive firepower, trading for Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz.
Ertz leaves the Eagles with the second-most receptions in franchise history. He was obviously a huge part of Philadelphia winning its first Super Bowl in the 2017-18 season. He had seven receptions for 67 yards and a touchdown in that victory over the New England Patriots.
Now, he’s going to upgrade an Arizona Cardinals offense that already has some of the best receivers in recent league history and a budding star rookie in Rondale Moore.
Arizona Cardinals are not messing around with Zach Ertz trade
Throughout his career, Ertz has been a sure-handed receiver at the tight end position who can do a little bit of everything for your offense.
The Cardinals paid a pretty team-friendly price to get him, too, sending the Eagles rookie cornerback Tay Gowan and a 5th-round draft pick.
Fans of the NFL Draft will recognize the name Tay Gowan, who became a pre-draft favorite of many on Draft Twitter. Even though the Cardinals had to give up a talented young player in the process, reaching the Super Bowl this season is the ultimate goal.
Even in the ultra-competitive NFC West with the Los Angeles Rams also looking like a legitimate contender, the Cardinals remain the NFL’s lone undefeated team and they are playing well on both sides of the ball.
Vance Joseph has that defense in great shape through five weeks, ranking sixth in the NFL with just 19 points allowed per game. Arizona has also forced 10 turnovers in the first five games of the season, ranking third in the NFL so far.
Offensively, head coach Kliff Kingsbury and his outstanding personnel have this unit firing on all cylinders.
The Cardinals currently rank 7th in the NFL in passing, 8th in rushing (yardage).
Kyler Murray obviously plays a huge role in both of those rankings. Through five games, he’s completing over 75 percent of his passes with 10 passing touchdowns and three rushing touchdowns as well as 110 yards as a runner.
Arizona’s 2021 target share has been extremely widespread and pretty even across the board beyond superstar DeAndre Hopkins getting the lion’s share.
Cardinals 2021 target share, how Zach Ertz fits in
- DeAndre Hopkins: 34
- Chase Edmonds: 26
- AJ Green: 26
- Rondale Moore: 24
- Christian Kirk: 23
- Maxx Williams: 17
The move to trade for Zach Ertz was obviously motivated by Williams recently going on IR. Although he has a pretty modest 17 targets on the season, Williams was more recently playing a bigger role in Arizona’s passing attack with 15 targets in weeks 2-4 before going down with an injury after one target in week five.
How will this move impact the overall target share in Arizona? You can likely expect Ertz to receive a healthy amount of targets and perhaps that makes the Cardinals a bit less balanced as a running team, but it could vary week to week.
One thing is certain — this move is an indicator that Arizona is not messing around with Super Bowl aspirations in 2021. They believe they can win it all with the way the team is currently constructed, and they’re being aggressive to get one of the top available players off the trade market ahead of the deadline in early November.