Why Chicago Bears may pay Cole Kmet more than expected

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears are going to try to lockdown Cole Kmet with an extension this offseason before he enters free agency at the end of next season. However, things could get tricky.

Why Chicago Bears may pay Cole Kmet more than expected

The tight-end market had been booming, but this year it took a big hit. Hayden Hurst, Dalton Schultz, and Mike Gesicki all had to take one-year deals for cheaper than the market would have previously suggested. So, Kmet will be trying to maximize his value, but at the same time is fighting against the current state of the market. Kmet can say those names are not elite, but they all produced similar to Kmet.

However, the key to what Kmet has and others do not is his age. Kmet will only be 24 this year. What is interesting to note is that Dalton Kincaid will be 24 this year as well. He is also younger than Luke Schoonmaker, a third-round pick in this draft. That shows just how young Kmet is, he could be in this draft and not many people blink an eye. Pat Friermuth just played his age-24 season last year, and he was drafted a year after Cole Kmet. This will be the age-24 season for Kmet.

Historically it is hard for tight ends to have solid statistics early in their career, and they usually break out as they get bigger physically and start to grow in the NFL. With that in mind, it should not be so surprising that Cole Kmet is 12th all-time in receiving yards by a tight end before they turn 24 years old.

He will have 1,300 yards before the age of 24, and Dalton Kincaid will have about 1/10 of that by his 24th birthday this year.

Dalton Schultz and Mike Gesicki saw a cole market, but those players are 27 and 28 years old respectively. Hayden Hurst is 30 years old this season. So, while they have similar numbers to Cole Kmet, you can project that Kmet will be producing much more by the time that he is their age.

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Teams will not pay up when the tight end is not worth it. However, if you are 24 and you have multiple years producing in the NFL and you are improving as a blocker, and the next three or four years may be the best we will see, it is easy to see the price tag going back up.

Cole Kmet will be looking to get the market back in-line with his extension, and he may have enough on his side to make a strong case for it.