The free agency frenzy is a little less than a month away. As it stands, the Chargers are not expected to be as aggressive as they have been in the past, given they are currently well over the cap.
However, they could make some moves to free up salary cap space. If they do and want to pursue available free agents, ESPN’s Matt Bowen believes that Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz would make sense for Los Angeles.
Some roster cuts are anticipated in L.A., which will help the team out with the cap — and maybe open the door for Schultz to play for Kellen Moore, his former offensive coordinator in Dallas. In Moore’s system, Schultz could be used as a seam stretcher for quarterback Justin Herbert, with catch-and-run opportunities on play-action and boot. His regular-season production in 2022 was slowed by a knee injury, but the tight end logged 12 receptions for 122 yards and three touchdowns in the Cowboys’ two playoff games.
The Bolts will be in the market for a tight end this offseason. While he performed admirably well in 2022, Gerald Everett has one more year left on his contract. Donald Parham has flashed, but injury concerns loom. Tre’ McKitty has been underwhelming in his first two seasons.
Familiarity has played a role in who the Chargers have brought in, and with Kellen Moore now overseeing the offense, Schultz fits that billing. Moore and Schultz were on the Cowboys for four seasons while Moore was their offensive coordinator.
Schultz finished this past season with 57 receptions for 577 yards and five touchdowns. He took over as the starting tight end for Dallas in 2020 and had 17 receiving touchdowns since then.
But Schultz doesn’t come without his flaws. He had six drops this past season, the most among tight ends. He isn’t much of a threat after the catch, as Schultz averaged just 3.3 yards after the catch in 2022.
While Schultz would be a nice addition to the Chargers’ offense, his price tag will be too much for a team with other priorities, like extending Justin Herbert, re-signing their internal free agents and paying their draft class.
Spotrac market value has Schultz earning just north of $15 million annually over four years. And PFF projects him to ink a four-year, $58 million contract ($14.5 million per year), with $36 million guaranteed.
That is why Los Angeles is fortunate to go into a draft where the tight-end class is loaded with talent featured by Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer, Utah’s Dalton Kincaid, Georgia’s Darnell Washington and Iowa’s Sam LaPorta, among others.