The Arizona Cardinals and tight end Zach Ertz mutually agreed to part ways on Thursday, according to J.J. Watt (h/t ESPN). Ertz will have the opportunity to finish the season elsewhere, ideally with a contender.
NFL news-breaker Ian Rapoport mentioned the Philadelphia Eagles, Baltimore Ravens, and Buffalo Bills as viable candidates to sign Ertz. The 33-year-old started seven games for Arizona in 2023, accumulating 27 receptions on 43 targets for 187 yards and one touchdown.
While Ertz is no longer the Pro Bowl, workhorse tight end of yesteryear, he's an experienced route-runner with the potential to elevate the passing attack of a quality football team. He should have a long line of interested suitors.
Here are a few that make the most sense.
3. Zach Ertz could put up numbers for the Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins lead the NFL in passing yards per game and rank second in rushing yards per game. Mike McDaniel has built the league's most finely-tuned machine. There are valid concerns about Miami's defense or Tua Tagovailoa's ability to operate under pressure once the postseason arrives. But, on a week-to-week basis, there isn't a more steadfastly dominant offense in the NFL.
So, what better place for Zach Ertz to finish the season? He would have a very real path to the Super Bowl, but even better than that, he would have a very real path to numbers. The Dolphins' primary tight end, Durham Smythe, has 18 receptions for 178 yards in 10 games (nine starts). Miami's offense doesn't focus on the tight end, but McDaniel could draw up more routes for a pass-catcher with Ertz's résumé.
With Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle splitting defenses wide-open with their speed, Ertz could feast as a third or fourth option on shorter routes for Tagovailoa. He's also a proven end zone threat, with 22 touchdowns during his three-year Pro Bowl run from 2017 to 2019. Ertz has lost a step, but he's still 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds with supple hands.
In short, the Dolphins are the perfect melting pot of systemic success and opportunity. If Ertz wants to win games and put himself in position to make a few explosive plays every week, the Dolphins are a great spot.