Evan Engram Wants To Stay With Jaguars

Last month, Jaguars GM Trent Baalke expressed interest in the team re-signing Evan Engram. The former first-round pick confirmed he is also onboard with staying in Jacksonville, offering a firmer stance compared to his December 2022 view.

The former five-year Giants starter put himself in better position to cash in this year, setting a Jaguars single-season tight end record with 766 receiving yards. While Engram is going into his age-29 season, he could be the market’s top tight end. Although he will be in a good spot if he hits free agency, the Ole Miss product wants to stay where he is.

Hopefully something gets done; it’s mutual,” Engram said (during a Sirius XM Radio interview; audio link) of the interest in him returning to the Jaguars. “We haven’t had too many conversations yet, but the interest is there on both sides for me to come back, and obviously I would love to come back as well.”

After toiling on flawed Giants teams during his first half-decade in the NFL, Engram became a key component in the Jags’ late-season surge to the divisional round. The franchise had not seen ideal returns on recent investments at the position, from Julius Thomas to Josh Oliver to Tyler Eifert. Engram provided a different impact, topping Kyle Brady‘s 22-year-old Jags tight end single-season standard. Engram also surpassed his own career yardage best — set during his 2017 rookie year — and added a seven-catch, 93-yard outing in the Jags’ 27-point wild-card comeback.

The Jags gave Engram a one-year, $9MM deal in March 2022, and while that is decent “prove it” money, Engram will be targeting more on his second Jacksonville accord. The Jags’ interest and the tight end franchise tag checking in as the third-cheapest this year could also point to Engram not reaching free agency.

It does not sound like he would begrudge the Jaguars for proceeding down that path. Three teams — the Browns, Cowboys and Dolphins — tagged tight ends last year; David Njoku was the only one to sign an extension before the July deadline.

I felt like I put a lot of great things on film; I had a lot of great results this year. I was a big part of helping my team win,” Engram said. “When you do that at the pass-catching position, those guys get taken care of financially. That’s something that’s been a big goal of mine my entire career.

If [the tag] happens, I think that’ll be a placeholder to get something done. If that does happen, I’ll be blessed either way. We’ll figure something out long-term that both sides will be happy with.”

The tight end tag will cost teams $11.36MM this year. The Jags may well have Engram positioned as their top free agent. While four-year right tackle starter Jawaan Taylor wants to stay as well, the team already has left tackle Cam Robinson signed to a top-10 deal at his position and Brandon Scherff attached to a top-level guard pact. The team also, however, already has three wide receivers signed to notable contracts. Christian Kirk is set to count $23MM toward Jacksonville’s 2023 cap; Zay Jones is at $10.6MM. Calvin Ridley‘s potential reinstatement will lead to him counting $10.9MM against the cap, via his fifth-year option. But Engram’s deal could be backloaded to complement the receivers’ numbers. Should Engram be retained, he would round out a promising pass-catching corps for Trevor Lawrence‘s third season.

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