The Jacksonville Jaguars haven’t solely fortified their defensive front in the free-agency legal tampering period. They have also made a few additions to their secondary and signed former Carolina Panthers tight end Chris Manhertz.
Manhertz has agreed to a two-year $7.25 million contract with $4.25 million guaranteed, per Sean Stellato, his agent. Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer recently said that the team’s tight end room needed work, so the addition of Manhertz’s to the unit is not surprising.
After going undrafted in 2014, Manhertz signed a Reserve/Future contract with the Buffalo Bills. He was waived in 2015 and promptly claimed by the New Orleans Saints. He was waived once again in 2016 and then claimed off waivers by the Panthers, where he spent the last five years.
The Canisius product was mainly a blocking tight end in Carolina and has hauled in 12 receptions for 142 yards and one touchdown over his six-year career (he didn’t play in 2015). Last season, he posted a serviceable 61.3 Pro Football Focus pass-blocking grade and had a 61.7 mark the year before.
The Jacksonville Jaguars can’t stop adding talent to their tight end room.
While the addition of Manhertz is an important step towards revamping the tight end room, the Jaguars can’t stop there. General manager Trent Baalke said the team would be looking for value in free agency. Thus, it’s understandable why they didn’t want to shell out the four-year $50 million Jonnu Smith got from the New England Patriots or the three-year $37.5 million contract Hunter Henry got from the Pats too.
There are two different ways to see Manhertz’s signing. On one hand, the team’s brass doesn’t want to overspend. On the other hand, the Jaguars’ lack of talent in 2020 was a big reason why they went 1-15 last season. You would think they would make a few big-name signings in free agency — even if they had to spend a little more than they would like to — but that hasn’t been the case so far.
Keep in mind that there’s still plenty of talent available and free agency hasn’t even officially started. If the Jaguars still want to add a tight end in the open market, they could target Jared Cook or Gerald Everett.