Dalton Schultz has yet to receive a long-term contract this offseason and is reportedly frustrated with the lack of progress. The Cowboys tight end, currently with Dallas on the franchise tag, will now be skipping this week's voluntary organized team activities as negotiations continue.
Mandatory mini-camp for veterans starts next Tuesday, June 14th. To be fair, plenty of veterans skip the voluntary activities for reasons other than contract issues. It won't be until next week, with potential fines for missing the practices, that we see just how frustrated Schultz is.
Schultz already signed his franchise tender, locking in a $10.931 million salary for 2022 if no deal by July 15.
Since he received the Cowboys' franchise tag last March, Dalton saw Cleveland's David Njoku get a new four-year deal worth about $55 million. With Schultz putting up roughly 700 more receiving yards and double the touchdowns from Njoku the last two seasons, it's not hard to guess the kind of compensation he's expecting.
Schultz has been one of the most-productive tight ends in football since taking over as starter in Week 1 of the 2020 season. Blake Jarwin entered the season as the starter but suffered a severe injury in that opener which pulled Dalton into duty.
The Cowboys face two dilemmas in their contract strategy with Schultz. On one front, do they think Dalton brings something special to the position or is a product of their offensive system? How much are they willing to pay if they think the latter?
On the other side, currently there is no proven depth behind Schultz to turn to if he holds out. Third-year prospect Sean McKeon has seen little playing thus far, veteran Jeremy Sprinkle is primarily a blocker, and Jake Ferguson is just a 5th-round rookie.
This may simply be a posturing move by Dalton Schultz and his agent right now when there's nothing to lose for the player. Next week will be a far greater indicator of just how contentious things are between the Cowboys and the tight end.