Jaguars Rumors

Jaguars Want To Re-Sign TE Evan Engram

Evan Engram‘s one-year “prove it” deal ended up benefiting both he and the Jaguars. The former first-round pick provided a significant boost at a position the Jaguars had struggled to staff for many years.

The former Giants draftee caught 73 passes for 766 yards — both career-high marks, with the yardage figure setting a new Jags single-season standard by a tight end — and four touchdowns this season. Engram added 12 catches for 124 yards and a score in the playoffs, setting himself up for a nice payday. Engram said he wants that payday to come from the Jaguars. The team would prefer that arrangement as well.

Obviously, we would love to have Evan back,” Jags GM Trent Baalke said. “Evan and I visited [Monday], and he went around the building and visited with everybody. I think it’s mutual. Now we got to make it happen. That’s something that we’re going to work on with Evan, and all the other free agents that we have. We have a list of them that we got to mow down one at a time.”

With a new decision-maker in place for a third straight year, the Jags’ 2022 offseason veered toward adding outside talent rather than retaining their own. The team doled out historic free agency dollars to acquire a handful of vets, and that class moved the needle for a previously downtrodden team. Engram was among the names added, but the Ole Miss product’s one-year, $9MM deal did not exactly register on the same level the Christian Kirk or Brandon Scherff pacts did. But Engram will be seeking a raise ahead of his age-29 season.

Engram outperformed all three of last year’s franchise-tagged tight ends — David Njoku, Dalton Schultz, Mike Gesicki — and fulfilled some of the promise he showed as a rookie. Some injury trouble and bleak Giants offensive setups hindered Engram during his rookie contract, but now that he showed value in Doug Pederson‘s offense, targeting second-tier tight end money would make sense. Njoku and Dawson Knox each signed extensions in the $13MM-per-year range during the 2022 offseason; Engram can reasonably pursue a similar accord.

The Jags have Trevor Lawrence‘s rookie deal on their books for at least one more season, but they do now have three veteran receiver contracts on their books. Calvin Ridley‘s fifth-year option ($11.1MM) is now Jacksonville’s responsibility. The team signed Kirk for $18MM per year and Zay Jones at $8MM AAV. After holding considerable cap space going into the 2022 offseason, the Jags are projected to be $13MM-plus over the 2023 cap. The team also has right tackle Jawaan Taylor and edge rusher Arden Key due for free agency. Jacksonville will need to make some adjustments ahead of free agency, and Baalke said fans should not expect a spending spree close to last year’s effort.

The franchise tag will be a tool the Jags can use to keep Engram; it is expected to come in just north of $11MM. Baalke said he would prefer not to bring the tag into play, but the Jags both have a history of using it (most recently with Cam Robinson, twice). They also had struggled for a while to generate much production from the tight end spot. No Jags tight end since 2012 (Marcedes Lewis) came within 200 yards of Engram’s 2022 total. Considering Engram’s impact on Lawrence’s development, it should be expected the team will enter negotiations to retain the 6-foot-3 target soon.

Bucs Begin Round Of OC Interview Requests

4:36pm: The Bucs are also set to meet with Broncos quarterbacks coach Klint Kubiak, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. The team attempted to secure a meeting with Texans offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, but Hamilton declined the meeting.

The former Vikings OC, Kubiak became a key figure during Nathaniel Hackett‘s disastrous season. Hackett gave the second-generation coach the play-calling reins late in the season; this marked the second straight year Kubiak held that responsibility. Kubiak, 35, has less experience running an offense compared to Cooter and Hamilton, and more candidates will emerge soon. Hamilton returned to an OC role this season — after being the Chargers’ QBs coach in 2020 and Texans’ QBs instructor in 2021 — but Houston axing Lovie Smith will likely lead him elsewhere.

4:06pm: Jim Bob Cooter is back on the offensive coordinator radar. Being out of the play-calling mix for the past four seasons, the former Lions OC received an interview request Tuesday.

The Buccaneers want to meet with the Jaguars’ passing-game coordinator about their OC role, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. The Jags made tremendous strides this season, with Trevor Lawrence showing signs of becoming the star talent he was pegged to be when he went No. 1 overall last year.

The Lions had promoted Cooter to OC when he was just 31, bumping him to their play-calling post during the 2015 season. Matt Patricia kept Cooter on following Jim Caldwell‘s firing but moved on after his first Detroit season. Cooter, 38, has bounced from Jets to the Eagles to the Jags in the years since. Todd Bowles was out of New York by the time Cooter arrived in 2019, but the ex-Jets coach has made him the first known candidate for the Bucs’ OC position.

Bowles fired Byron Leftwich last week, moving on after inheriting the Bruce Arians hire in 2022. The Bucs’ offense, which was a top-seven unit under Leftwich from 2019-21, nosedived this season. Tampa Bay fell from second to 25th in points and second to 15th in yardage. Leftwich’s successor may well not have Tom Brady to coach in 2023, either. Although the 45-year-old legend regressed in 2022, he still provided considerable value to the Bucs over the past three seasons. If Brady plays in 2023, various reports have pointed to that 24th season coming elsewhere.

Cooter coaxed some quality Matthew Stafford seasons in Detroit; the longtime Lions QB finished eighth in QBR in each of Cooter’s first two years as OC. This past season marked Cooter’s first chance to work with a quarterback since his Detroit days, and Lawrence — after a rocky start — rebounded to lead the Jaguars to the playoffs. Jacksonville’s Lawrence-led wild-card comeback — the third-largest deficit overcome in the postseason — points their long-term arrow up after a disastrous Urban Meyer experiment in 2021. Doug Pederson calls the Jags’ plays, and Press Taylor is the team’s OC. That opens the door for Cooter, with other OC openings likely coming soon as teams make their HC choices.

NFL Reserve/Futures Deals: 1/23/23

Today’s reserve/futures deals, mostly featuring teams recently eliminated from the postseason:

Buffalo Bills

Dallas Cowboys

Jacksonville Jaguars

New York Giants

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Injured Reserve Return Tracker

After two years of giving teams free rein on injured reserve transactions, the NFL reinstated limitations this offseason. Teams can now activate up to eight players from injured reserve. That has reintroduced some strategy into how franchises are proceeding with their activations.

Players who were carried over to 53-man rosters after cutdown day must reside on their respective injured list for at least four weeks. Once a team designates a player for return, meaning the player returns to practice, the activation clock starts. Teams have 21 days from those return-to-practice points to activate that player. If no activation commences in that window, the player reverts to season-ending IR.

Here is how the eight remaining teams’ IR situations stack up for the championship round:

Cincinnati Bengals

Eligible for activation:

Activations remaining: 4

Kansas City Chiefs

Designated for return:

Activations remaining: 5

Philadelphia Eagles

Designated for return:

Eligible for activation:

Activations remaining: 1

San Francisco 49ers

Activations remaining: 0

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/20/23

Standard gameday elevations for tomorrow’s playoff games:

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

NFL Reserve/Futures Deals: 1/15/23

Today’s lone reserve/futures deal in the NFL:

Jacksonville Jaguars

Rourke has been a popular workout candidate in recent weeks, visiting several teams amidst interest from more than a dozen NFL clubs. The CFL star has arrived at a decision after that time, though, announcing (on Twitter) that he is signing a three-year reserve deal with the Jaguars.

Rourke put up impressive numbers at college with the Ohio Bobcats, and placed himself firmly on the NFL radar with his play this season with the BC Lions. He threw for a league-record 78.7% completion percentage in 2022, recording a 25:10 touchdown-to-interception ratio and adding seven touchdowns on the ground. The 24-year-old earned Most Outstanding Canadian honors despite missing considerable time through injury as a result, and he will now be positioned to compete as a backup to Trevor Lawrence in the offseason. His time spent in the spring with head coach Doug Pederson – well-known for his work in developing QBs – could be enough for him to land a 53-man roster spot in the fall.

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/13/23

Today’s minor moves, including elevations made for Saturday’s playoff games:

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Updated 2023 NFL Draft Order

Some fireworks came in regarding the draft order on the NFL’s final regular-season day. The Bears upended the Texans for the No. 1 pick, reeling in a team that held that top slot for much of the season. The Bears last made a pick at No. 1 overall in 1947. Their former head coach — Lovie Smith, whom the Texans just fired — oversaw this final-day flip-flop. Clarity on the rest of the non-playoff-bound teams’ draft slots emerged as well.

The Jaguars’ rally to win the AFC South moves them into a postseason spot, and the Titans’ seven-game losing streak to end the season drops them to their highest selection since 2017. Tennessee’s next general manager will have the opportunity to make a pick at No. 11 or deal from that draft position, while Jacksonville will hold its lowest selection since 2018. The Texans will hold two top-12 picks in April, thanks to the Browns’ Week 18 loss to the Steelers, while the Lions will have two in the top 20 as well.

For non-playoff teams, the draft order will be determined by the inverted 2022 standings — plus a series of tiebreakers, starting with strength of schedule — with playoff squads being slotted by their postseason outcome and regular-season record. Here is how the draft order looks at the regular season’s close:

  1. Chicago Bears: 3-14
  2. Houston Texans: 3-13-1
  3. Arizona Cardinals: 4-13
  4. Indianapolis Colts: 4-12-1
  5. Seattle Seahawks (via Broncos)
  6. Detroit Lions (via Rams)
  7. Las Vegas Raiders: 6-11
  8. Atlanta Falcons: 7-10
  9. Carolina Panthers: 7-10
  10. Philadelphia Eagles (via Saints)
  11. Tennessee Titans: 7-10
  12. Houston Texans (via Browns)
  13. New York Jets: 7-10
  14. New England Patriots: 8-9
  15. Green Bay Packers: 8-9
  16. Washington Commanders: 8-8-1
  17. Pittsburgh Steelers: 9-8
  18. Detroit Lions: 9-8
  19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 8-9
  20. Seattle Seahawks: 9-8
  21. Jacksonville Jaguars: 9-8
  22. New York Giants: 9-7-1
  23. Baltimore Ravens: 10-7
  24. Los Angeles Chargers: 10-7
  25. Dallas Cowboys: 12-5
  26. Cincinnati Bengals: 12-4
  27. Minnesota Vikings: 13-4
  28. Denver Broncos (via 49ers)
  29. Buffalo Bills: 13-3
  30. Kansas City Chiefs: 14-3
  31. Philadelphia Eagles: 14-3

This year’s draft will feature a 31-pick first round. The Dolphins’ penalty for the Tom BradySean Payton tampering scandal cost them their 2023 first-round choice

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/7/23

Today’s minor transactions heading into the final Sunday of the regular season:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

  • Promoted from practice squad: WR Josh Ali

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Updated 2023 NFL Draft Order

As the NFL determines how it will proceed with the postponed Bills-Bengals game, Week 18 is on as scheduled. The No. 1 overall pick remains in doubt, and seven teams enter the final week either 6-10 or 7-9. Several games will impact how the top 10 shakes out.

Having lost nine straight, the Bears (3-13) are a half-game behind the Texans (2-13-1) for the No. 1 overall pick. Houston last held that draft slot in 2014, while Chicago has not picked first since 1947. The Texans are also playing a Colts team they tied in Week 1; Indianapolis enters Week 18 on a six-game skid. Conversely, the Bears face a Vikings squad that still has a path to the NFC’s No. 2 seed.

Week 17 also brought clarity on the NFC South. Although the Buccaneers have disappointed, their comeback win over the Panthers secured the franchise’s third straight playoff berth. That will mean Tampa Bay’s pick will check in no higher than 18th overall, while the Carolina and New Orleans slots could land in the top 10. The loser of Saturday’s Jaguars-Titans game would also see their draft slot rise several positions. Four of the five traded picks remain in the top 12, with the Seahawks’ spot (via the Broncos) still slotting highest — behind only the Texans and Bears’ positions.

For non-playoff teams, the draft order will be determined by the inverted 2022 standings — plus a series of tiebreakers, starting with strength of schedule — with playoff squads being slotted by their postseason outcome and regular-season record. Here is how the draft order looks entering Week 18:

  1. Houston Texans: 2-13-1
  2. Chicago Bears: 3-13
  3. Seattle Seahawks (via Broncos)
  4. Arizona Cardinals: 4-12
  5. Indianapolis Colts: 4-11-1
  6. Detroit Lions (via Rams)
  7. Atlanta Falcons: 6-10
  8. Las Vegas Raiders: 6-10
  9. Carolina Panthers: 6-10
  10. Philadelphia Eagles (via Saints)
  11. Tennessee Titans: 7-9
  12. Houston Texans (via Browns)
  13. New York Jets: 7-9
  14. Washington Commanders: 7-8-1
  15. Pittsburgh Steelers: 8-8
  16. Green Bay Packers: 8-8
  17. Detroit Lions: 8-8
  18. Seattle Seahawks: 8-8
  19. Jacksonville Jaguars: 8-8
  20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 8-8
  21. New England Patriots: 8-8
  22. New York Giants: 9-6-1
  23. Baltimore Ravens: 10-6
  24. Los Angeles Chargers: 10-6
  25. Cincinnati Bengals: 11-4
  26. Minnesota Vikings: 12-4
  27. Dallas Cowboys: 12-4
  28. Denver Broncos (via 49ers)
  29. Buffalo Bills: 12-3
  30. Kansas City Chiefs: 13-3
  31. Philadelphia Eagles: 13-3