Jaguars seen as favorites to land TE Dalton Schultz at free agency
The Jaguars will have a chance to address several needs in free agency and if they will have options if they want to bolster their tight end room. If they have no qualms about committing a big amount of money to the position, they should then sign Dalton Schultz.
The Jags are seen as favorites to land Schultz in free agency, and not only because they have enough cap space to outbid other teams. Mike Kaye of Pro Football Network points out that Jacksonville has the worst tight end situation in the NFL and head coach Doug Pederson used to routinely feature Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz in the Philadelphia Eagle’s offense. Thus, he sees the Jaguars as a potential landing spot for Schultz.
"Ertz set the single-season catch record for the position under Pederson in 2018. Schultz could be the ideal target to duplicate that success in Jacksonville. The Jaguars do have the epic amount of cap space to potentially convince him to come to Duval County. Second-year quarterback Trevor Lawrence would also benefit greatly from Schultz’s presence."
Kaye notes that Spotrac values Schultz at $12.6 million per year, which seems a bit too expensive but it’s warranted when you take into account that the tight end hauled in 78 receptions for 808 yards with eight touchdowns. Moreover, he’s a good blocker, positing a 68.1 Pro Football Focus pass-blocking grade last season. Kaye isn’t alone in believing the Jags can sign Schultz. Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports also thinks that’s a good pairing, “Trevor Lawrence needs weapons of any kind. Schultz gives him another“.
Can the Jaguars sign Dalton Schultz over Zach Ertz in free agency?
Schultz isn’t the only tight end that has been linked to the Jaguars this offseason. Zach Ertz, who’s previously played for Doug Pederson and set the single-season record for receptions with 116 in 2018. The truth is that both players would give Jacksonville’s offense a boost, so it would be interesting to see which one the team’s brass would prefer. Money shouldn’t be an issue when making a decision. After all, the Jaguars are set to have $56 million in cap space, so they can easily fit either one in their offseason budget.
On the other hand, one deciding factor could be Schultz’s age. At 25, he’s entering his prime and there’s a chance he hasn’t reached his ceiling yet while Ertz is 31. That’s not to say Ertz is experiencing a decline, far from it. After being traded to the Arizona Cardinals last season, he appeared in 11 games and went on to catch 56 receptions for 574 yards with three touchdowns.
Ertz’s link to Pederson could give him an edge over Schultz but either one would be a solid addition to the Jaguars’ tight end room. As long as they sign one, it shouldn’t be an issue which one they choose.