The Jacksonville Jaguars opted not to sign a big-name tight end early in free agency and it seems like they won’t be making any big-name additions to the position. However, they still made changes to their tight end room and brought in Chris Manhertz, re-signed James O’Shaugnessy, and traded Josh Oliver.
The Jaguars and Manhertz agreed to a two-year deal during the legal tampering period and re-signed O’Shaugnessy and traded Oliver to the Baltimore Ravens for an undisclosed pick on the first official day of free agency.
Manhertz has hauled in a total of 12 receptions for 142 yards and one touchdown over his seven-year career, so it’s unlikely he will have a major role on the Jaguars offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s offense.
The same is true for O’Shaughnessy, who has been mainly a blocking tight end throughout his four-year tenure in Jacksonville, having tied his career-high for passes (38) last season (38). As important as their blocking skills will be in 2021, neither of them will suddenly turn in a number-one tight end any time soon.
On the other hand, Oliver’s departure won’t affect the Jaguars much, as injuries limited in the last two years. He spent the last six games of the 2019 season on the Injury Reserve list with a small fracture in his back and missed his sophomore campaign with a broken foot. The San Jose State product could end up becoming the playmaker the Jags thought they were getting when they used a third-round selection on him in 2019’s draft. However, it will not happen in Jacksonville.
What will the Jacksonville Jaguars do to upgrade the tight end position?
There isn’t much the Jaguars can do now to bolster their tight end room. They passed up the chance to sign Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith. They also opted against adding Gerald Everett, who signed a one-year $6 million deal with the Seattle Seahawks, and Jared Cook, who joined the Los Angeles Chargers on a one-year $6 million deal as well.
There aren’t any top-tier tight ends left in the open market, so free agency may not be a viable option anymore. The Jaguars already have Manhertz and O’Shaugnessy on the roster, so it’s unlikely they will scrape the bottom of the barrel for one.
They could trade for someone like Zach Ertz, or inquire with the Las Vegas Raiders about Foster Moreau’s availability, but it seems like the Jags will wait until the draft to address the tight end position.