Are the Colts the best free-agent fit for TE Dalton Schultz?
Much of the talk surrounding the Indianapolis Colts right now has to do with the quarterback position and the 2023 NFL draft, but free agency is right around the corner.
While we shouldn’t expect the Colts to make much of a splash when the market officially opens March 15, there are some moves they can make to add depth and talent to the roster.
In listing the best fits for their top 50 ranked free agents, Pro Football Focus believes the Colts are the best landing spot for Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz.
Schultz may ultimately stay in Dallas after being a consummate professional following a franchise tag and once again having a very productive season, especially once quarterback Dak Prescott returned from injury. New Colts head coach Shane Steichen comes from the Philadelphia Eagles, where quality tight end production has always been a priority, with Dallas Goedert a similarly good blocker and receiving threat like Schultz.
Schultz’s 71.6 run-blocking grade over the past three seasons ranks 12th among tight ends, and he was in the top 10 at the position in receiving yards, yards after contact, touchdowns and receptions. He’ll be a reliable third-down and red-zone target for whichever quarterback is under center for Indianapolis going forward.
It’s true that the tight end position will be used often in Steichen’s scheme, and the Colts have some intriguing talent in the room headlined by second-year Jelani Woods and third-year Kylen Granson.
The Colts certainly could use a boost at the tight end position, specifically when it comes to getting production from the in-line role as a blocker. The absence of Jack Doyle in that area impacted the Colts offense immensely in 2022.
Schultz is a solid all-around tight end, and he would make the Colts offense better in a vacuum. But the tight end position isn’t going to be high on the priority list in free agency, and Schultz is likely to be far too expensive for the Colts’ liking.
According to Spotrac, Schultz is projected to receive an average annual salary of $15.1 million. That’s far too rich for the Colts, especially considering they aren’t flush with cash this offseason.
There are a lot of moves to be made in order to free up some salary-cap space but even if they did maximize those efforts, it’s difficult to see Chris Ballard paying that kind of premium at the tight end position.
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