Red isn’t Zach Ertz’s color, but that’s what you’ll see him in moving forward as he gets used to life as a member of the Arizona Cardinals after the Philadelphia Eagles traded him last week.
But still, he carried a piece of Philadelphia with him during his first practice with his new team on Wednesday as he wore Eagles wristbands.
While the trade sees Ertz leave his beloved Philadelphia, it’s quite an upgrade for him in terms of contending status. The Eagles will try to avoid a 2-5 start against the Las Vegas Raiders this weekend while the veteran tight end is on a Cardinals team that is looking to improve to 7-0 in 2021.
“I’m just focusing right now on finishing the season as best as I can,” Ertz said (h/t NBC Sports Philadelphia). “Obviously, we got a great opportunity here. I’ll always love my time in Philadelphia.
“For me, all that matters is winning football games… The most fun thing that I’ve been a part of is winning a Super Bowl.”
While Ertz was ineligible to play in Week 6 with the Cardinals, he still got some solid time with his new quarterback, Kyler Murray, as the two sat next to each other on the team plane to Cleveland.
“I walked on the plane, got my seating assignment and we happened to be sitting right next to each other,” Ertz said. “It was probably the higher-ups. I don’t think it was on accident.”
As they look to hit it off and recreate the magic Ertz had in Philadelphia with the likes of Vick, Foles, or Wentz, Jalen Hurts will continue to try and carry the torch of a new age.
“Zach Ertz has been a very special player for the city,” Hurts said. “Done a lot of special things here, obviously, being a multiple-time Pro Bowler and winning a Super Bowl here. I have so much respect for him. I wish him the best in his future. I’ve got a lot of love for Zach.”
Veteran defensive end Fletcher Cox is still coming to terms with the trade.
“It sucks,” he said. “But you gotta know it’s a business. … I talked to him, he’s smiling. I FaceTimed him, he’s smiling. That’s all you can ask for the guy. I know he’ll be missed. He’s done a lot for this organization, for this city.
“He was my teammate since he got here, nine years. Really happy for him. It’ll probably be strange seeing him in a different color jersey but I’m just happy for him.”