The Jacksonville Jaguars have watched a few key contributors from their AFC South-winning run last season sign new deals elsewhere in free agency. However, the Jaguars have managed to keep multiple such players on the roster, including Evan Engram.
The Jaguars placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on Engram in early March. The sixth-year tight end was slated to hit free agency last month, but with Jacksonville’s call to place the franchise tag on him, he will make $11.345 million in the 2023 campaign if he puts pen to paper on the franchise tender.
Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who recently threw the ceremonial first pitch ahead of Triple-A side Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp’s 2023 home opener, was pleased to see the team address this “big priority.”
“Obviously, that was a big priority for us this offseason,” Lawrence said. “To have him back for this year and hopefully longer moving forward—that's ideal.
“You saw what he did for our offense this last season and how he came on at the end of the year. We really figured out how to use him the right way. He helped us a ton, and we're maximizing what he can do. We have to keep building on that.”
Engram made the most out of his first year with the reigning AFC South champions. He wound up posting career highs across the board last season, including in both receptions (73) and receiving yards (766). He also hauled in four receiving touchdowns in 17 total regular season contests played.
Lawrence sees that Engram has what it takes to up his production with the Jaguars later this year.
“There's more out there for him,” Lawrence said of Engram. “That's the exciting part about that. You look at his numbers and they were great. But I feel like he didn't catch on until the back half of the season. To look at having a full season of that, that's exciting. The sky's the limit — and for our offense, too.”
Lawrence is expected to also rely on Luke Farrell at the tight end position in the 2023 season. Farrell recorded four catches for 40 receiving yards in the 2022 campaign.