Dalton Schultz Free Agency Best Fits: Packers, Texans, and Commanders Could Use a Dynamic Pass Catcher

Dalton Schultz Free Agency Best Fits: Packers, Texans, and Commanders Could Use a Dynamic Pass Catcher

The top tight end remaining on our free agent list is former Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz, who has the ability to win as a receiver in a variety of situations, stand out as a red-zone threat, and make his way as a functional blocker.

Without much news on the Schultz front through two days of the legal tampering period and the official opening of free agency, it’s clear that the historically strong tight end draft class and the declining positional value have altered the market. Nevertheless, Schultz deserves a big NFL contract, so we looked at the teams that could best use Schultz.

Dalton Schultz’s Best Free Agency Fits

Green Bay Packers

The Packers have needed a tight end for quite some time, even when Robert Tonyan was healthy. But with Tonyan showcasing poor production after his ACL injury and likely to leave in free agency, the need is particularly urgent.

Green Bay could add Schultz for his receiving upside but also might want to tap into his blocking history at Stanford. Though he struggled as a blocker at times for Dallas, Schultz has the profile to be an effective help in the run game.

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Even if he never re-establishes that element of his game, providing a veteran pass catcher with reliable hands to Jordan Love as he navigates the young pair of receivers the Packers drafted last year isn’t a bad idea. Schultz could immediately improve several teams but perhaps Green Bay most of all.

Houston Texans

The Texans have been on an absolute blitz in free agency and have brought in two receivers in addition to a pass-catching running back in Mike Boone. Houston also added tight end Andrew Beck, but he’s been more of a blocking fullback type than a true field stretcher.

With Jordan Akins an aging liability, it would be smart to add a younger player on the roster who can be a real pass-catching threat. Schultz could give the Texans and their new quarterback, whoever he is, a safety blanket.

Houston didn’t have much of a roster before free agency started, with some exciting players on rookie contracts, an elite tackle, and not much else. Wisely, they put that tackle on the trade market in order to find even more value, and Schultz could be the next in line among the value free agents Houston has gathered.

Washington Commanders

The Commanders signaled their trust in second-year quarterback Sam Howell but smartly signed Jacoby Brissett in what should be a QB competition. Whoever wins will have a great emerging receiver corps to throw to, with Terry McLaurin headlining a group that also contains Jahan Dotson, Curtis Samuel, and Dyami Brown. Pass-catching back Antonio Gibson will help as well.

But to make the group truly dynamic, it would be wise to add threats everywhere, including at positions of weakness. Converted quarterback Logan Thomas has wildly exceeded expectations since transitioning to the position years ago. But he’s never been the most productive tight end, and his career is closer to ending than beginning. Adding Schultz to the roster would make that room truly complete and difficult to defend. And it would more easily allow Washington to pick and choose their matchups.

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals got a lot out of Hayden Hurst last season but couldn’t retain him in free agency, losing him to the Carolina Panthers. Instead of seeing that as an area where they have to take a downgrade, Cincinnati could upgrade at the position instead by signing Schultz.

The Bengals’ receiver group is elite and perhaps the best in the NFL. But it always helps to supercharge a unit like that by adding another body type that can be put on the field on a consistent basis.

Schultz would provide some surety to an offense that needs to have great underneath weapons to accommodate the issues they have blocking up front but might also want that player to turn upfield when the moment is right. Schultz can be that player and help turn the Bengals’ offense from great to elite.

Detroit Lions

Trading away T.J. Hockenson truly seems like one of the few win-win-win trades in the NFL, where the Lions found ways to get better after losing Hockenson and seeing their young replacements step up. Meanwhile, the Vikings and Hockenson both benefited. Hockenson put up career per-game numbers in Minnesota, and the Vikings were able to put together a more diverse offense instead of just forcing the ball to Justin Jefferson.

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But having an exciting young unit isn’t the same as having an answer. Schultz provides an answer, and if any of the young players continue to step up, that’s a nice bonus. The Lions have gone all-in on the trench positions over the past few years and have begun to invest outside of those areas. Schultz would be a great next step in that progression.