Trent Baalke confident that TE Evan Engram will remain a Jaguar
Updated: Mar 2
The Jacksonville Jaguars have struggled to find an answer at the tight end position for several years, but their addition of Evan Engram during the 2023 offseason seems to have fixed that problem. On Tuesday, Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke made it clear that the team wants to keep it that way, too, despite Engram being a pending free-agent.
At the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine, Baalke told NFL Network's Cameron Wolfe that Engram will remain a Jaguar, whether it's through a long-term deal or the franchise tag.
“I talked with Trent Baalke just a few minutes ago and he said, ‘Evan Engram will be on this football team in some capacity,'” Wolfe said at the Combine. “They want to get a long-term deal done, but they have that franchise tag as a tool if it lingers. They’ve started early parts of those conversations with Evan Engram. But he had a career year in that offense. Both Doug Pederson and Trevor Lawrence have raved about him."
Engram put up career figures in 2022 during his first year with the Jags, accumulating 73 receptions for 766 yards and four touchdowns. He especially was a big-time target for the Jags late in the season as they went on a five-game win streak to finish the regular season.
Getting a deal don't won't just be important because of what he means to the offense, but also because the Jags are in a situation where two other tight ends on the roster are set to hit free-agency with Engram in Dan Arnold and Chris Manhertz.
Of the two options to keep Engram, a long-term deal is likely the preference. However, if the Jags decided to use the franchise tag on him, the price would be over $11.3 million for a one-year fully guaranteed deal.
Last year, the Jags used the franchise tag on tackle Cam Robinson, but came to a long-term deal not too soon afterward. The Jags could resort to the same strategy this season if needed as using the tag would buy them more time for a long-term contract.