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Offseason | 2022

Deadline Passes; Schultz to Play on Franchise Tag


FRISCO, Texas – To no one's surprise, there is no new contract for tight end Dalton Schultz.

The NFL's deadline for teams to sign franchise-tagged players to long-term contracts was Friday at 3 p.m. That deadline has come and gone, meaning Schultz will play the 2022 season on the one-year guaranteed tag of $10.931 million.

Any negotiation for a long-term contact for Schultz will have to wait until the end of the season. The Cowboys would have the opportunity to start negotiating on a new contract as soon as the season ends and well before the start of free agency next March. But by then, it seems likely that Schultz would just wait to test the open market, especially since current tight ends in the NFL have average salaries of more than $12 million per season.

However, the Cowboys would have the option to tag Schultz again in 2023, but the price would jump to about $13.1 million.

There doesn't seem to be a lot of traction between the two sides in terms of a long-term deal. And that was even after Schultz sat out the last week of OTA practices in more of a silent protest to show the Cowboys his displeasure with the contract talks, or lack thereof.

Schultz did return the following week for the mandatory minicamp, and it seems as if he will report to training camp on July 25 without any issues.

Schultz is coming off his best season in the NFL, recording 78 catches for 808 yards and eight touchdowns. He's just the second tight end in Cowboys history – along with future Hall of Famer Jason Witten – to record a season of 75-plus catches in a season.

But all eyes will be on Schultz this season, especially after the Cowboys traded away Amari Cooper and have plenty of question marks in the passing game. Michael Gallup is recovering from an ACL injury that required surgery in February. The Cowboys have added James Washington and drafted Jalen Tolbert to join young vets Noah Brown and Simi Fehoko.

So there might be even more opportunities for Schultz in the passing game, although he could garner more attention as well.

And the tight end position also has its question marks. Blake Jarwin was released this offseason, leaving Jeremy Sprinkle, Sean McKeon and rookie Jake Ferguson to compete for playing time behind Schultz.

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