Evan Engram remains absent from the beginning of the Jaguars’ offseason program amidst talks on a potential long-term deal. The veteran tight end is currently scheduled to play on the franchise tag, but a multi-year agreement could be coming soon.
Jacksonville used the tag ($11.35M) on Engram in March to ensure he would remain in the fold for at least one more season after he posted a career-best 2022-23 campaign. The former Giants first-rounder recorded 766 receiving yards and four touchdowns on 73 catches in his debut Jaguars season, making the team’s one-year, $9M flier on him a worthwhile investment. Engram is now due a raise either on the one-year tender or a longer-term pact to be agreed upon in the coming weeks or months.
It was reported in March, however, that the two parties were not close to finalizing an extension. Engram would rank ninth in the league in terms of AAV if he were to play out the upcoming season on the tag, but his production — both in the regular season and playoffs — and rapport with quarterback Trevor Lawrence could help him move higher up that list through any new deal.
At 28 years old, Engram should at least theoretically be able to replicate his success from last season for at least the short term — assuming the inconsistency which dogged his New York tenure is avoided.
“There’s up and downs as you go through the process and you’re just trying to come to — a common goal here is to get him signed,” Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke recently said on the subject of contract talks with Engram. “I think we’re trending that direction, but we’re not there yet. We’ll continue to work to get him signed to a long-term extension and hopefully we can get that done” (h/t Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk).
Jacksonville currently sits at $14.8M in cap space and a new Engram contract could lower his hit on the team’s 2023 cap sheet. The parties can continue negotiating until July 17, but urgency might increase if his absence from the team lingers deeper into the offseason. Should progress continues to be made, as Baalke suggests, a deal keeping Engram in Duval County beyond the upcoming season could be on the horizon.
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Publish Date:2023-04-22 07:11:03