Will 49ers go after tight end Zach Ertz? Don't count on it

If you're hoping to hear "San Francisco 49ers tight end Zach Ertz" someday soon, you'll probably be disappointed.

Arizona Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz (86)
Arizona Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz (86) / Michael Owens/GettyImages

The 49ers could use a No. 2 tight end to back up George Kittle, but Kyle Shanahan said that Zach Ertz isn't exactly on the team's radar.

There is some logic in the San Francisco 49ers signing veteran tight end Zach Ertz right now.

For starters, head coach Kyle Shanahan has long sought out a quality No. 2 to support the All-Pro, George Kittle. In light of Kittle's notable injury history, getting a prolific name like Ertz as Kittle insurance would be the kind of move a Super Bowl-contending team like the Niners would make.

There's another reason, too, as a roster spot could potentially open up for someone like Ertz on San Francisco's depth chart.

On Monday, in the wake of the 49ers beating the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 13, Shanahan told reporters that backup tight end Ross Dwelley suffered a high-ankle sprain and would "miss a few weeks."

Ertz, 33 years old and a free agent after being released by the Arizona Cardinals and clearing waivers last month, sounds like the perfect upgrade over Dwelley, right?

Well, don't count on it happening. A source says that Ertz isn't exactly someone the Niners will go after right now.

The source? Shanahan himself.

Kyle Shanahan says he's a 'fan' of Zach Ertz, doesn't have much interest in 49ers signing him

Ertz, a three-time Pro Bowler who spent the bulk of his career with Philly before heading to the NFC West in 2021, might no longer be in that pantheon of top tight ends in the NFL right now.

But he's still productive, having 27 receptions for 187 yards and a touchdown on what has been a bad Cardinals offense that now no longer has his services.

So, will San Francisco pursue the free agent?

Not according to Shanahan.

"I know [general manager] John [Lynch] looks into all that stuff," Shanahan said when asked about potentially signing Ertz. "I haven’t heard anything about it now, so I wouldn’t think so at this time. But, I have a lot of respect for him as a player. I’ve always been a fan.

"But right now, at least from my standpoint, we’re good with our group, but we have injuries and things change so we’ll look into all options as always."

Doesn't sound like the 49ers are that interested.

Instead, the Niners will probably roll with Kittle, Charlie Woerner and rookie tight end Brayden Willis as the third-string option.

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