Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy is not sure whether franchise-tagged tight end Dalton Schultz will participate in next week’s mandatory minicamp.
McCarthy stated Schultz informed him last week he would not be at this week’s final voluntary organized team activities with hopes of jumpstarting negotiations toward a long-term deal by the July 15 deadline.
“You have business situations that happen all the time in this league, so had a long talk with him on Friday about it,” McCarthy said. “We’ll see what next week brings.”
If Schultz does not practice, he would be subject to fines totaling more than $95,000. Per the collective bargaining agreement, a player is subject to maximum daily fines of $15,980, $31,961 and $47,936 for each day of a missed mandatory practice.
Schultz signed the $10.9 million tender not long after the Cowboys placed the franchise tag on him in March. He said earlier this offseason he would let his agent, Steve Caric, handle the negotiations with the club. According to multiple sources, the two sides have yet to have meaningful discussions toward a contract.
The Cleveland Browns recently signed David Njoku to a four-year $57 million contract that included $28 million in guarantees after putting the franchise tag on him. Njoku caught 36 passes for 475 yards and four touchdowns last year, compared to 78 receptions for 808 yards and eight touchdowns for Schultz.
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In his past two seasons, Schultz has 141 receptions for 1,423 yards and 12 touchdowns, developing into a security blanket for Dak Prescott.
“I mean Dalton’s been here every single day since the season’s been completed. I don’t think there’s been a week where I haven’t seen Dalton, so yeah I’m not worried about his commitment or what he’s done,” McCarthy stated.
“He’s in great shape. If he was standing here he would tell you this is the strongest he’s ever been. So he’s put a tremendous amount of work into the offseason. I think it’s clearly why I separate it. It’s business. It’s business that he’s tending to and it’s understood. But to think that he hasn’t done the work would not be accurate.”
McCarthy said he does not balance business and football when it comes to players.
“I think they’re two different entities,” McCarthy said. “Business is business and I’m in the business of winning football games. So we all have contracts. We all have these type of situations that they come about. Timing obviously plays into these decisions and transactions. Now, as head coach, it takes you a few to get used to it, but I think you have to learn to separate things in this world. It’s too competitive. There’s too much work to be done. Dalton deserves this position that he’s in. So hopefully we can get it worked out.”
Without a multiyear agreement in place by July 15, Schultz would have to play the season under the tag.
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