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Mike Gesicki’s deal with the New England Patriots may indicate the market for Dalton Schultz

We may start to see the tight end market move a bit, and we’ll see where Dalton Schultz goes.

NFC Divisional Playoffs - Dallas Cowboys v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys have been hard at work to this point in free agency and have, outside of the trade for Stephon Gilmore, really focused on retaining their own players.

Tony Pollard received the franchise tag and Terence Steele was given a second-round tender, and while those things require some procedural action, the moves assure that neither player will be elsewhere this season (in all likelihood, obviously anything is possible).

Matters are much less complicated for the likes of Donovan Wilson, Leighton Vander Esch, C.J. Goodwin and Cooper Rush, who have all agreed to return to the Cowboys (you can see our entire free agency tracker right here by the way). Among the players that Dallas has not brought back to date is tight end Dalton Schultz.

Looking at the NFL as a whole, we have not really seen the tight end market be all too active but that changed a bit on Friday. And it may serve as an indication for what we can expect from Dalton Schultz and whatever deal he ultimately winds up getting.

Mike Gesicki’s deal with the New England Patriots may indicate what Dalton Schultz’s market is

It was reported very early on Friday morning that free agent tight end Mike Gesicki struck a one-year deal with the New England Patriots worth up to $9M. Gesicki coming to terms on a new deal is significant because of a very important common denominator that he shares with Dalton Schultz.

Both Schultz and Gesicki played under the franchise tag last season (a value of about $11M) but also coincidentally had somewhat similar seasons in 2022, Schultz with Dallas and Gesicki with the Miami Dolphins. Ultimately the point is that you can assume that what Gesicki made on the open market is around what Schultz may be looking at.

  • 2022 Dalton Schultz (15 games): 57 receptions, 577 yards, 5 touchdowns
  • 2022 Mike Gesicki (17 games): 32 receptions, 362 yards, 5 touchdowns

There is obviously more to a tight end than catches, receiving yards, and touchdowns, but on an extremely superficial level Gesicki and Schultz had comparable seasons while both on the tag. That Gesicki received a one-year deal “worth up to” $9M suggests that Schultz would be somewhere in that neck of the woods, even though the tag value for them both last year was above that.

A commonly-suggested landing point for Schultz over the last few weeks had been the Los Angeles Chargers given that Kellen Moore is their new offensive coordinator and obviously has a history with Schultz. Just a few hours after Gesicki’s deal was reported though it was announced that the Chargers are bringing back Donald Parham which suggests they aren’t a practical destination for him.

It seems inevitable that Schultz will take a deal lower than his franchise tag value of a year ago, obviously it remains to be seen who that winds up being with. Perhaps if the market stays dry the Cowboys could re-visit discussions with him, but time will tell if things shake out in that direction.

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