This is a complicating factor when deciding on an extension for Cole Kmet

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Between Cole Kmet, Darnell Mooney, and Jaylon Johnson you could make the case that Kmet is most likely to be re-signed by the Chicago Bears this offseason. They are all from the same draft class, and they are all Ryan Pace players, but Kmet is the youngest, tight ends blossom later on, and the Bears have done far less work adding tight ends than they have wide receivers and cornerbacks.

Will Chicago Bears extend Cole Kmet?

If the team moves on from Johnson and Mooney they are starting to form depth, they would be weak at tight end the second they lost Kmet. So, the two sides will try to iron something out before this season, otherwise, they may risk losing him in free agency.

One major complicating factor will be the recent tight-end market, mainly led by Dalton Schultz. Schultz was franchise tagged in 2021, so he made roughly $11M. However, he had a down year in 2022, and his market cratered. He ended up taking a one-year deal for $6M to try to increase his value.

The issue here for Kmet is that Schultz' drop in production was 577 yards and five touchdowns. Kmet had 544 yards and seven touchdowns last season. That was a good year for Kmet, and a down year for Schultz, so what does that say about the market for Kmet?

He will probably get more than $6M since Schultz took the deal as a prove-it contract. Still, the question is how much more. Below you can see how Dalton Schultz, Cole Kmet, and Dawson Knox all compare to each other since Kmet has entered the NFL. This gives us a bigger sample than just last season, and will illustrate how complicated things could get.




Cole Kmet




Dawson Knox




Dalton Schultz




Cole Kmet does not have the touchdowns, but he is not far off from Dawson Knox statistically. At the same time, he is not producing as much as Schultz, and even despite two more touchdowns than Schultz last season, he has eight fewer in his career.

What complicates matters it the salaries of each show below.




Dawson Knox




Dalton Schultz




According to PFF Knox had a 65.9 run blocking grade, Schultz was at 65.9, and Kmet was at 65.1. The reality is that Schultz had a down-year, and the market softened at the wrong time, and it cost him some money. Knox signed to a longer deal a year earlier and it ended up working out well for him.

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So, the complicating factor will be bridging a gap between $13M per year, and $6.25M per year. Kmet will point to Knox, while the Chicago Bears will point to Schultz. Kmet will say Schultz came out at a bad time after a bad season, the Bears will say this is the new market. .At times can you find a medium, but with $7M in-between these two, there will be a lot of work to budge each side.