The Bills could use a reliable veteran tight end to take their explosive offense with Josh Allen to the next level. They created $7.8 million in salary cap space by restructuring the contract of wide receiver Stefon Diggs on Tuesday. The Eagles are positioned to trade tight end Zach Ertz to save $8.5 million in salary toward their 2021 cap.
That made Buffalo the new heavy favorite to make a successful trade with Philadelphia to make Ertz a key complementary target to Diggs. The Bills, trying to dethrone the Chiefs as AFC champions, have worked to improve their defense this offseason. But they also want to be able to outscore a Patrick Mahomes-led attack as needed, too.
The Bills created a mild shakeup to their receiving corps before June, with John Brown (Raiders) leaving in free agency and Emmanuel Sanders (Saints) arriving. They also expect second-year fourth-rounder Gabriel Davis to have more big-play impact, stretching the field for Allen’s big arm.
They have upside at tight end in third-year third-rounder Dawson Knox, but there’s no potential to diversify their offense with steady 12 personnel (two tight ends), with Jacob Hollister and Tommy Sweeney as the other options. Knox is athletic and is capable of breaking out soon as a pass-catcher, but Ertz is established and can create the same kind of short-to-intermediate chemistry with Allen that he once had with Carson Wentz.
Speaking of Wentz, the Colts also have been a hot-rumored destination for Ertz after they traded with the Eagles for Wentz early in the offseason. But Indianapolis was expected to act on its interest in Ertz during the 2021 NFL Draft, which never materialized.
The Eagles are now motivated to deal Ertz as it is past June 1 and they can maximize the cap relief they will get from his jettisoned contract.
Would Ertz be a bit of a luxury addition for Bills? Yes. They were the second-highest NFL scoring offense in 2020, averaging 31.3 yards per game. But in the sense of adding critical schematic versatility to the production volume, Ertz would be an important option.
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