We continue to be in that part of the NFL offseason (that isn't really the offseason because the Super Bowl has yet to happen) when speculation keeps everyone sane until free agency actually begins. The hypothetical signings will only heighten because it's still over a month away.
And, of course, PFF is here to ensure they add to that conversation by including the Patriots in their list of potential landing spots for the top free-agent tight ends this year.
Since they won't have a single player of that position signed on the roster for 2024, it's fair to include them in the discussion, and surprisingly, they have New England as a favorite destination for Dalton Schultz.
The current Houston Texan is set to test the market for just the second time in his career, spending the first five years with the Cowboys until signing with the Texans in 2023.
He recorded his most statistically productive season last year since 2021, and his chemistry with rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud was clear to everyone who watched them play. It's possible because of their unexpected success, which took them to the playoffs, may be enough for Schultz to try with all his might to remain with the team. But if he doesn't, the Patriots should make a call.
Jerod Mayo will have to decide if Hunter Henry is a guy he wants to prioritize re-signing, and to most people, it's an easy yes. Pairing Henry with Schultz feels like the tight end duo the Patriots have been trying to find for the last decade but continue to fail in doing so, even last season.
The Mike Gesicki experiment seems like a bust, so Schultz would be an upgrade in that regard. He's a proven talent in the passing game but also as a blocker and could help lessen the load put on Henry's shoulders on game day.
Besides the idea of bringing in a proven weapon to a rebuilt offense, Schultz wouldn't cost an arm and a leg to sign, which is a big plus considering how many other positions on the team need to be improved. Spotrac.com has his contract estimated to be worthy of 3 years and $34 million, significantly less than what they were paying Henry.
With nearly $70 million in cap space to spend, he seems like a worthy player to pay.