49ers’ interest in former Pro Bowl TE could add to growing Eagles rivalry

    The San Francisco 49ers already have one of the premier tight ends in the NFL in four-time Pro Bowler George Kittle. It was reported Wednesday that the team may be looking to add another star at the position, a move that could have Philadelphia Eagles fans fuming.

    Three-time Pro Bowler Zach Ertz was released by the Arizona Cardinals last week and a host of teams such as the Eagles, Niners and Baltimore Ravens have been reported as possible destinations for the 33-year-old.

    David Lombardi (49ers beat reporter and colleague of Matt Barrows at The Athletic) pointed out that Ertz signing with San Francisco “almost makes too much sense” due to the pass catcher’s background.

    What may set off Philly fans if the former Stanford and Arizona Cardinal chooses to suit up with the Niners isn’t necessarily the team’s possible interest in him, but what it would be like to see an Eagles legend suit up for a growing bitter rival.

    Ertz was selected by Philadelphia in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft and spent the first eight-plus seasons of his career in the City of Brotherly Love. He made all of his Pro Bowls during his time with the organization in three consecutive seasons from 2017-19, was the team’s leading receiver in four straight campaigns and helped the Eagles win their first Super Bowl in franchise history. Ertz posted a team-best seven receptions for 67 yards and caught the game-winning touchdown with 2:21 remaining in the fourth quarter during the Super Bowl LII victory over the New England Patriots.

    He was traded from the Eagles to the Cardinals in October 2021.

    Though they don’t play in the same division as Philadelphia like other rivals in the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants, the 49ers’ feud with the Eagles is arguably the fastest growing in the league.

    From San Francisco wide receiver Deebo Samuel’s controversial offseason comments about last winter’s NFC Championship Game to Sunday’s sideline scuffle involving Niners linebacker Dre Greenlaw and Eagles chief security officer Dom DiSandro, there have been scores of events in 2023 that highlight the drama between the two historic franchises.

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