It has been a less than ideal offseason for the Dallas Cowboys and things may be getting worse in Big D. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that tight end Dalton Schultz has pulled out of the remaining OTA practices after being “frustrated by the state of contract talks.”
“Frustrated by the state of contract talks, Cowboys franchise-tagged TE Dalton Schultz informed the team he won’t attend the rest of voluntary OTAs, per sources,” Pelissero said in a series of June 6, 2022 tweets. “Schultz already signed his franchise tender, locking in a $10.931 million salary for 2022 if no deal by July 15.”
The Cowboys opted to place the franchise tag on Schultz for the 2022 season instead of signing the tight end to a long-term deal. Dallas and Schultz have until July 15 to reach a contract extension before the playmaker’s $10.9 million salary will become locked in for 2022.
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Schultz Could Face More Than $100,000 in Fines
It is important to note that OTA practices are voluntary but does point to a potential contentious end to the offseason between the two sides. Time will tell if Schultz will also sit out the upcoming mandatory minicamp practices. CBS Sports’ Patrik Walker reported that Schultz could face more than $100,000 in fines if he declines to participate.
“If no deal is struck, however, a frustrated Schultz would have only two options: play the 2022 season under the tag or sit out and face a substantial amount of ongoing fines, seeing as the new collective bargaining agreement enacted in 2020 effectively put the kibosh on player holdouts nowadays,” Walker wrote on June 6. “And for accounting purposes, the CBA now allows teams to fine players who aren’t under a rookie deal a hefty sum of $50,000 per day for every missed training camp practice.”
According to Dallas Morning News’ Calvin Watkins, Schultz will also consider sitting out mandatory minicamp practices as well but remains undecided.
“A source said Cowboys officials were told TE Dalton Schultz will not report to OTAs this week,” Watkins detailed on Twitter on June 6. “Another source wasn’t sure if Schultz would report to the mandatory minicamp next week. That might depend on several factors including if a new contract is in place.”
Schultz: ‘I Let My Agent Kind of Handle All That Business’
Schultz’s latest stance is more aggressive than the tight end has been throughout the offseason. During a May 26 media session, Schultz indicated he planned to “let my agent kind of handle all that business.”
“I mean, again dude, I let my agent kind of handle all that business, and right now I’m just focused on the OTAs, man,” Schultz told reporters on May 26.
Schultz Could Land a 4-Year, $64 Million New Contract, Says Analyst
The challenge for the Cowboys is the price for starting tight ends is on the rise. Browns tight end David Njoku signed a four-year, $54.7 million contract extension this offseason.
Schultz is coming off a more productive season notching 78 receptions for 808 yards and eight touchdowns in 2021. It is why Bleacher Report’s Paul Kasabian projected Schultz will land a new four-year, $64 million contract.
“Still, Schultz, 25, has proved to be a better offensive weapon, and any contract talk should start with Njoku’s deal as the baseline,” Kasabian wrote on May 27. “The gold standard for tight ends is Kittle’s five-year, $75 million contract ($30 million guaranteed). Schultz isn’t in the three-time Pro Bowler’s tier, but he deserves a contract that breaks $60 million in total value after being one of the key pass-catching weapons on the NFL’s top-scoring offense last year.
“The best guess for a Schultz deal: four years, $64 million, $30 million guaranteed.”