The tight end market in 2023 NFL free agency doesn’t feature any true stars, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t quality options available. One of the best on the market is Dalton Schultz, currently of the Dallas Cowboys.

Since becoming Dallas’ starting tight end in 2020, Schultz has been a solid, consistent option in the passing game. Over the past three seasons, Schultz has caught 198 passes for 2,000 yards and 17 touchdowns. This season was his worst statistically as a starter, but he still posted 57 receptions for 577 yards and five touchdowns while battling through injuries. He did have an outstanding postseason, though, with 12 catches for 122 yards and two touchdowns in just two games.

The Cowboys placed the franchise tag on Schultz last season, and according to reports, they won’t do so again. This means that Schultz will be one of the top tight ends available this offseason, along with Mike Gesicki and Evan Engram. As such, he should get a big payday in free agency.

Without further ado, here are three potential landing spots for the tight end.

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3. Houston Texans

A move across the state could make some sense for Dalton Schultz this offseason. Houston is obviously rebuilding right now, so Schultz will have to be comfortable with that before signing there. If he is, though, there’s a good amount to like about this fit.

Everyone and their mother knows that the Texans will almost certainly be taking a quarterback in the draft. It could be Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, or whoever else, but no matter who it is, they need help around them. There’s no position that rings more true than at tight end.

Right now, the only tight ends Houston has signed next season are Brevin Jordan, Teagan Quitoriano, and Mason Schrek. Never heard of them before? Well, it’s probably because they combined to catch just 23 passes for 247 yards and two touchdowns in 2022. The Texans’ top two tight ends, Jordan Akins and O.J. Howard are about to hit free agency, but even if they do bring them back, it’s still one of the worst tight-end rooms in the league. So, what better way to welcome a rookie quarterback than with a proven, reliable tight end like Schultz?

Houston also has a ton of cap space, with over $34 million right now, so it can pay Schultz whatever he wants. If the tight wants to get a big payday, help a potential superstar QB develop, and stay relatively close to his current home, then the Texans make a ton of sense.

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2. Detroit Lions

Despite not making the playoffs, Detroit had its best season in a very long time in 2022. The Lions have a very bright future ahead of them, largely thanks to a dynamic offense that finished top-five in yards and points. However, the one area where Detroit’s offense is somewhat lacking is at tight end.

That wasn’t always the case, though. T.J. Hockenson was having a great start to the season, with 26 receptions for 395 yards and three touchdowns in seven games with Detroit. The Lions capitalized on his value, and traded him to the division-rival Minnesota Vikings at the trade deadline. This elevated Brock Wright to being the starting tight end, who, while serviceable, isn’t a viable top option for a playoff team.

With that in mind, Dalton Schultz could be a great addition for the Lions as they look to ascend to contenders. He isn’t quite as dynamic as Hockenson, but more than good enough to thrive in Detroit’s high-flying offense. Money shouldn’t be an issue either, as Detroit currently has over $23 million in cap space. The potential for Schultz in Detroit is sky-high and should be a contender for his services.

1. Los Angeles Chargers

At first glance, the Chargers seem like a strange fit compared to the other teams on this list. Los Angeles already has a solid tight end in Gerald Everett and doesn’t have the cap space to sign him without making other moves. Dig a little deeper, though, and there’s a lot to like here.

For one, the Chargers might not be as set at tight end as it appears. Everett is good, but he makes $8.25 million and might become a salary cap casualty this off-season. Schultz will cost more, and thus the Chargers would have to make more moves to sign him, but he is a sizable upgrade at the position.

The real catch is new Chargers offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, who worked with Dalton Schultz in Dallas from 2019 to 2022. This could allow for a seamless transition to a new team, which has to be appealing for Schultz.

Maybe it’s a long shot with Los Angeles’ cap situation, but there’s no denying how well Schultz would fit in.