Ertz signed a three-year, $31.65 million contract with the Cardinals on Sunday. Ertz had a disappointing start to the 2021 campaign with the Eagles but thrived after he was traded to Arizona in mid-October. Across 11 appearances with the Cardinals, he secured 56 of 81 targets for 574 yards and three touchdowns. The 31-year-old's deal keeps him among the highest-paid tight ends in the league.
Ertz posted 74 catches on 112 targets for 763 yards and five touchdowns in 17 games between the Eagles and Cardinals during the 2021 campaign. One day removed from the Eagles' Week 6 loss to the Buccaneers, the only NFL team Ertz had ever played for shipped him to the desert after eight-plus campaigns. At the time of his arrival in Arizona, he only had an 18-189-2 line on 31 targets, so his final numbers represent both a big role in a better passing game and a clear sign his skills haven't eroded. The biggest factor in Ertz's revival was an injury to DeAndre Hopkins, who missed eight of the final 10 games including playoffs with hamstring and knee issues. Kyler Murray turned to Ertz often with Hopkins out, especially during a Week 15-18 stretch in which he earned 43 targets and eventually matched the franchise record for catches by a tight end in a single season with 56. After Sunday's wild-card loss to the Rams, Ertz told Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site that he "would love to be a part" of the team moving forward, but the unrestricted free agent likely will be fielding multiple offers from other organizations come mid-March.
Ertz caught seven passes for 84 yards on 10 targets against Seattle on Sunday. Ertz was the only Arizona pass catcher who could get anything going Sunday, even in what was a favorable matchup for the Arizona passing game. Despite his unceremonious exit from Philadelphia earlier this year, Ertz clearly has a good bit left in the tank, and even as an in-season pickup he almost immediately became one of the most important parts of the Arizona offense. In his 11 games with Arizona, the tight end caught 56 passes for 574 yards and three touchdowns on 81 targets. He'll likely be a central component of the Arizona offense in their playoff game plan.
Ertz gathered in seven of nine targets for 41 yards during Sunday's 25-22 win at Dallas. Ertz continues to be heavily involved in the offense since DeAndre Hopkins (knee) was lost for the rest of the regular season following Week 14. Over the past three games, Ertz has been targeted 33 times, resulting in a 21-169-0 receiving line. Ertz also led all Cardinals skill-position players not named Kyler Murray by logging 69 of 76 offensive snaps Sunday. Considering his workload, Ertz remains a viable option for Week 18, especially against a Seahawks defense that has given up 10 total touchdowns (tied for third most in the NFL) and 7.9 yards per target (ninth most) to tight ends this season.
Ertz (hamstring) was a full practice participant Thursday, Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site reports. After following an LP/LP/FP practice regimen last week, Ertz logged his first uncapped session on his second opportunity during Week 17 prep. With his health not in question ahead of Sunday's game in Dallas, he's poised for another massive workload, as he's coming off double-digit targets in the first two contests since DeAndre Hopkins (knee) was lost for the rest of the regular season. In those pair of appearances, Ertz combined for 14 catches (on 24 targets) for 128 yards.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/11||Kansas City Chiefs||10||5.80|
|2||09/18||@Las Vegas Raiders||30||9.89|
|3||09/25||Los Angeles Rams||9||5.62|
|7||10/20||New Orleans Saints||7||5.06|
|10||11/13||@Los Angeles Rams||9||5.62|
|11||11/21||San Francisco 49ers||4||4.60|
|12||11/27||Los Angeles Chargers||31||10.35|
|14||12/12||New England Patriots||6||5.00|
|16||12/25||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||20||7.21|
|18||01/08||@San Francisco 49ers||4||4.60|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||106||66||671||4||35||10.17||93|