5 biggest moves Jaguars GM Trent Baalke made in 2021
Jaguars GM Trent Baalke’s biggest move No. 2 – Trading for TE Dan Arnold.
Tight end was one of the Jaguars’ most pressing needs this past offseason and it took them several tries but they got it right when they acquired Dan Arnold in a trade with the Carolina Panthers after Week 3 of the 2021 regular season. Back in free agency, the Jaguars had the chance to sign either Jonnu Smith or Hunter Henry (or both as the New England Patriots did). Instead, they locked up Chris Manhertz, who excels in pass-blocking situations but doesn’t offer much as a receiver in the passing game.
Later, the team’s brass signed Tim Tebow and tried him out at tight end. The move didn’t work out and they ended up releasing him after the first preseason game. Before the start of the season, the Jags acquired Jacob Hollister, who has been inactive for several games this season. It wasn’t until Jacksonville traded for Dan Arnold that they really addressed the position.
Keep in mind that the Jaguars could have and wanted to sign Arnold in free agency. Why they chose to wait to trade for him is anyone’s guess. The tight end was one of the few weapons the Jags had on offense this season and someone Trevor Lawrence trusts before he suffered an MCL sprain in Week 12. He’s been designated to return but just landed on the COVID-19/reserve list, so his status for the next two games is in question.
While the Jaguars can still sign or draft a tight end next year, the position isn’t as big a need as it was in 2021 thanks to the presence of Arnold.