The LA Chargers have had a very busy offseason and for a moment it looked like the team was going to pursue the biggest tight end on the market. Los Angeles was reportedly interested in free-agent tight end Dalton Schultz and there were several reasons why Schultz made a lot of sense for LA.
Not only is it naturally wise to add weapons around Justin Herbert but offensive coordinator Kellen Moore just coached Schultz in Dallas and could have, in theory, recruited him to join the Chargers alongside him. The biggest problem was the money, as Schultz was expected to warrant a big payday and the Chargers' cap space was shrinking with every signing the team made.
It was shocking when Schultz eventually did find a team and his contract details emerged. After betting on himself and failing in this wonky NFL free agency market, Schultz signed a one-year, $9 million contract with the Houston Texans.
A $9 million salary makes him the 12th-highest-paid tight end in the league in 2023, one spot behind Taysom Hill. At such a bargain price, and for only one year, Chargers fans might be left wondering why the team didn't bring in Schultz. While ti would have taken some maneuvering, LA certainly could have done so if they truly wanted to.
How the Chargers could have brought in Dalton Schultz:
First off, it is apparent that the Chargers did not want to take these necessary steps to bring in Schultz. If they wanted to do it then they would have done it because it would not have been that big of a hurdle to clear.
With roughly $7.7 million in free-agent spending space, per The Athletic's Daniel Popper, the team would have had to free up more salary-cap space to bring in Schultz. There was a relatively simple way to do just that: trade Gerald Everett.
According to Over The Cap, the Chargers could have saved $5.75 million in cap space if they were to trade Everett. That would bump the team's spending space to $13.4 million, giving them enough to sign Schultz to a comparable contract and still bring in 1-2 cheap free agents. The team could later free up more money for an in-season budget by doing a post-June 1 Dustin Hopkins cut.
Regardless, this would have created the necessary space and finding an Everett trade partner should not have been too difficult. If the Patriots were able to trade Jonnu Smith for a seventh-round pick with his ugly contract then there definitely would have been a team willing to trade a day-three pick to take on Everett for the 2023 season.
And instead of having one year of Everett, the team could have had one year of Schultz. But as previously mentioned, it does not seem like the Chargers were that interested in Schultz, as they would have made this move to make it happen if they were.