The LA Chargers have a lot of cap space to spend this offseason and what the team does with that money is going to be hugely impactful on the team's success. It is critical that the Bolts capitalize on Justin Herbert's rookie contract and nailing this offseason could be the difference between disappointment and a Super Bowl ceiling.
The team has the quarterback to win the Super Bowl and now needs to surround him with the proper help. One of the positions that the Chargers are going to add to in some capacity this offseason is the tight end position. Jared Cook is a free agent after one year after a disappointing end to the 2021 season.
There are quite a few free-agent targets for the Bolts to pursue this offseason. However, they should not pursue just any free-agent tight end and recent rumors indicate a potentially horrible deal for the Bolts.
Chargers Rumors: Bolts could be interested in Zach Ertz, which would be horrible.
The Chargers were listed alongside the Arizona Cardinals and Jacksonville Jaguars as early teams that are expected to be interested in Ertz. Ertz was on the trade block last offseason and at that time, you could make the case for the Bolts to trade for the former Pro Bowl tight end. However, at this point, it does not make any sense for the Chargers.
The numbers seem to indicate that it would be a good move by the Bolts. Ertz really thrived after being traded to the Cardinals, recording 56 catches for 574 yards and three touchdowns in 11 games. That is a 17-game pace of 86 catches for 887 yards.
While those are solid numbers, those numbers are why the Chargers should stay as away from Ertz as a free agent this offseason. A solid season, mixed with being a big name, is going to result in Ertz getting quite the pretty penny in free agency this offseason.
Pro Football Focus projects Ertz to get a two-year, $22 million deal this offseason while Spotrac puts his market value at two years for $15.2 million. Over The Cap values Ertz at just under an $8.3 million salary
It is safe to say that Ertz will likely get a deal around an $8 million salary. If the Chargers are competing with other teams that could creep into the $10 million range. A fair expectation for Ertz's contract this offseason is a two-year deal for $16-20 million.
That would be a bad signing for the Chargers. The team needs to fix the defensive side of the football and bringing in Ertz does nothing to solve anything. Sure, he would be an improvement over Jared Cook, but there are several talented free-agent tight ends on the market that would provide that same impact for cheaper.
Ertz is entering his age 32 season and every Charger fan should be worried about the team signing someone over the age of 30 to a decent-sized contract with how players tend to regress quickly in the NFL. It has happened to the Bolts time and time again and Ertz has much more risk attached to his name than younger free-agent tight ends.
Plus, if it the bidding goes higher for Ertz it would not make any sense for the team to sign him based on what it has recently done in the past. The Chargers let Hunter Henry walk for a three-year deal with an average salary of $12.5 million. Henry was fantastic for the Patriots this season and would have literally been the perfect tight end for the Chargers this season. How absurd would it look for the Chargers to sign Ertz on a two-year deal for $10+ million after scoffing at Henry?
Simply put, Zach Ertz does not make sense for the LA Chargers at his likely price point. I would rather see the team just bring Jared Cook back and that is saying something.