Eagles' Zach Ertz a no-show for offseason program as other veterans arrive

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Ertz a no-show for start of Eagles' offseason program originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Eagles veterans began arriving at the NovaCare Complex for the start of the formal offseason program and while we don’t know exactly who was there, we do know who wasn’t there.

Three-time Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz, whose Eagles future remains tenuous, was a notable no-show as the Eagles try to accommodate his wish to be traded, according to a league source.

The relationship between the Eagles and Ertz broke down before last season began when it became evident that the team had no plans to meet his price tag on a new long-term contract.

Ertz then had a career-worst season and gave what sounded like a tearful good-bye to Philadelphia and the only franchise he’s ever played for when the season ended.

Howie Roseman has said he’s in no hurry to trade Ertz, and he could be waiting until June 1, when a trade or release would spread out his dead money over two years instead of one.

But he could also simply be waiting for an offer that makes sense for the Eagles in terms of players or draft picks in return.

Monday marked Day 1 of the NFL’s offseason Phase 2, which lasts all week. In Phase 2, players continue to participate in meetings virtually but can also participate begin on-field drills with coaches at what is considered “teaching pace.” These aren’t practices but essentially meetings on the field.

The Eagles are one of 19 teams that announced last month that they would be boycotting voluntary minicamps in the interest of safety.

While it wasn’t clear exactly how many players were at the NovaCare for COVID testing on Monday or how many will be present for Phase 2 activities on the field Tuesday, Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that “veteran players do plan to attend.”

Phase 3 of the offseason program, which includes full-speed practice but no contact, is scheduled to begin next Monday and lasts for two weeks.

The Eagles have a three-day mandatory minicamp from June 8-10. Players who skip that are subject to fines. It’s not clear yet whether Ertz will be present for those three days.

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