With so much talk about the big-name free agents, the Dallas Cowboys are speaking with it's easy for the players set to hit free agency to get lost in the shuffle. one player of importance for the Dallas Cowboys to bring back is restricted free agent tight end Blake Jarwin and it looks like the Cowboys will do just that.
According to Todd Archer of ESPN, the Dallas Cowboys plan to place a second-round tender on the former undrafted tight end who experienced somewhat of a breakout over the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
“The Cowboys are likely to use the second-round tender on restricted free agent tight end Blake Jarwin, which should cost around $3.3 million, according to sources. The Cowboys spoke with Jarwin's agent, Kelli Masters, last week at the combine about a potential long-term deal.”
By placing a second-round tender on Jarwin, the Dallas Cowboys ensure that they won't lose him without some compensation in return. if a team comes out of nowhere to offer a contract that the Cowboys are unwilling to match, the Cowboys would receive a second-round pick from the pursuing team.
As important as those second-round picks are in the modern NFL, it's unlikely that the Cowboys would have any competition for his services, however, given the lack of depth in the free agent and draft classes in 2020 and a team desperate for big-play ability from the tight end position could overpay for him.
It would mean at nearly a $3 million raise for Blake Jarwin from his roughly $650,000 salary from the 2019 season. Depending on their ability to reach an agreement on a long-term contract, an even bigger payday could be coming for Blake Jarwin.
Though Blake Jarwin only played 38% of the offensive snaps in 2019, he was a dynamic player in the offense. He finished the season with 31 receptions on 41 targets for 365 yards and three touchdowns per Pro Football Reference. Per Pro Football Focus, Jarwin only had one drop on the season and averaged 5.3 yards per reception after the catch. His 11.8 yards per receptions were 12th in the NFL among tight ends with at least 26 targets in 2019.
Blake Jarwin had a tremendous game in the week 17 finale against the New York Giants catching seven passes for 119 yards and three touchdowns. There was a lot of optimism about his potential for 2019 but was limited in snaps with the return of Jason Witten.
Jarwin is a dynamic receiving threat that can hurt you down the field, in the short are and after the catch. Seemingly, whenever he was in the game, he was making things happen in the passing game. He has some work to do to improve as a blocker, but his ability to stretch the field vertically with his speed and athleticism is reason enough to get him on the field for a larger percentage of the offensive snaps.
With a sizable pay increase and the Cowboys hopes of signing Blake Jarwin to a long-term contract, it's possible they see him as the present and the future at the tight end position for the Dallas Cowboys. He's certainly done enough to warrant an opportunity to earn the starting role even if Jason Witten or another veteran tight end is brought in during free agency.
The Cowboys offense was better when he was on the field in 2019 and by placing the second-round tender on their dynamic, young tight end, they're ensuring their offense will have that dynamic element to it in 2020.
Other Restricted Free Agent Notes
- In the same report from Todd Archer, he mentions that backup quarterback Cooper Rush is likely to receive a restricted free agent tender as well, which would pay him around $2.1 million. Rush had a really nice preseason for the Dallas Cowboys in 2019 and with Dak Prescott's durability has yet to be called upon. With the tender, it appears new Head Coach Mike McCarthy likes what he sees with Rush.