Three-time Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz has signaled his desire to part ways with the Arizona Cardinals, a decision confirmed by his friend JJ Watt. The announcement, initially made by Watt on Thursday, was later validated by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, despite Watt playfully poking fun at the perceived ease of an NFL insider’s job during the revelation.
Ertz, eyeing a chance to join a Super Bowl contender and secure a second championship ring, is set to finish the season elsewhere as the Cardinals granted his request for release. The 33-year-old, originally drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, played a pivotal role in the Eagles’ 2018 Super Bowl victory before being traded to the Cardinals in October 2021.
Having endured a season-ending knee injury last year, Ertz returned to the field after ACL surgery. However, with rookie tight end Trey McBride gaining prominence in the team’s offensive strategy for 2023, Ertz likely made his decision, considering his role in the Cardinals’ future plans. Concluding his tenure in Arizona, Ertz leaves behind a legacy of 130 receptions, 1,167 yards, and eight touchdowns in 28 games.
Throughout Ertz’s recovery, Watt and professional golfer Jon Rahm played crucial roles in his support system. The trio, bonded by an active group chat, demonstrated their camaraderie during the Masters in August. Beyond their athletic connections, all three friends share the commonality of being married to former athletes, with Ertz’s wife Julie retiring as a two-time World Cup winner and Watt’s spouse Kealia playing in the National Women’s Soccer League. Jon Rahm’s wife, Kelley Cahill Rahm, was also a collegiate athlete specializing in javelin throwing at Arizona State.
As Ertz embarks on the quest for his next football destination, it’s likely that he will continue to rely on the support of Watt and Rahm. With Watt’s knack for breaking news, the friends’ active involvement in each other’s lives could provide insight into Ertz’s future endeavors.