It feels like there is a clear top tight end available on the open market, and the New England Patriots are viewed as a potential suitor.

Dalton Schultz, who played the 2023 campaign with the Texans, is set to hit free agency with his one-year deal expiring March 13. Schultz led all impending free-agent tight ends in snaps, receptions and receiving yards in 2023.

The 27-year-old was second in touchdowns (five) behind only Hunter Henry (six), who also is set to hit the open market. While the Patriots reportedly would like to retain Henry, it’s likely he becomes a free agent after three seasons in Foxboro, Mass.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler wrote Sunday the Patriots are a team to watch for Schultz.

Story continues below advertisement

“Dalton Schultz didn’t get his big payday last year due to a deep tight end class, but it should come this time after a good season with the Texans,” Fowler wrote. “Enough teams expect him to clear $10 million per year.

“New England is one to watch here potentially, as is a return to Houston.”

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

Schultz is coming off a season in which he finished with 59 catches for 635 yards in 15 games. He has surpassed Henry in catches and yards in each of the last four seasons, Schultz previously playing for the Dallas Cowboys (2018-2022).

The market value for Schultz, though, might be a bit more than Henry. But with the Patriots having more than $100 million in cap space, New England has the finances to make it happen. The Patriots reportedly view tight end as a high priority in free agency, as well.

Story continues below advertisement

Featured image via Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports Images