On Friday, Cleveland Browns TE David Njoku, one of several players who had the franchise tag placed on them this offseason, landed a long-term extension with the Browns for 4-years, $56.7 million. According to NFL Analyst Ian Rapoport, his deal made him the fourth-highest paid TE in the NFL.
Besides Njoku, who’s likely smiling cheek-to-cheek after collecting his coin, the one player that’s probably smiling as well is Cowboys TE Dalton Schultz. Schultz, who’s currently still on the franchise tag, is one of several players who hope to secure long-term extensions, and after seeing the Browns throw big bucks at Njoku–the ball is now in Schultz’s court.
Jori Epstein on Twitter: “Browns extended TE David Njoku for 4 years up to $56.75M with $28M guaranteed, per @ByNateUlrich. His production vs. Dalton Schultz, whom Cowboys tagged?Schultz: 78 catches, 808 yds, 8 TDs, 43 1st downs in 2021Njoku: 55 catches, 688, 6 TDs, 30 1st downs…in 2020-21 combined / Twitter”
Browns extended TE David Njoku for 4 years up to $56.75M with $28M guaranteed, per @ByNateUlrich. His production vs. Dalton Schultz, whom Cowboys tagged?Schultz: 78 catches, 808 yds, 8 TDs, 43 1st downs in 2021Njoku: 55 catches, 688, 6 TDs, 30 1st downs…in 2020-21 combined
After finishing last season with 78 catches, 808 yards, and 8 TDs, which ranked Top Six or better in TEs, you would imagine it would be a no-brainer for the Cowboys to lock Schultz up long-term.
However, because of the front office’s contract situation history, it’s not surprising to see to me that they haven’t worked out a deal yet. And, if they haven’t learned from their past, pushing contract extensions for their players will only cost them more money in the future.
Additionally, don’t forget that Miami Dolphins TE Mike Gesicki is trying to land a big contract too, so they may need to race to land an affordable deal before he resets the TE market again. If I had to guess what a Schultz APY (average per year) figure looks like, I would imagine it starts around Njoku’s $14.1875 million APY, but he’s arguably more proven than Njoku.
With that in mind, don’t be surprised if you see him land a deal that is worth more than Philadelphia Eagles TE Dallas Goedert, whose APY is $14.25 million, or gets close to matching San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle, who has an APY of $15 million.
Either way, it’s time to open the checkbook in Jerry World.