No. 3 Jaguars player entering a contract year in 2022: Dan Arnold, TE
Here’s a player that arrived last year but instead of doing it in free agency or the draft, he did it via trade. Looking back, this might have been unnecessary, as the Jaguars’ brass had the chance to sign him last offseason but opted not to.
Had Jacksonville inked Arnold in free agency instead of trading for him once the regular season had already started, he could have had a bigger impact last year. Right off the bat and with hardly any practice, the tight end went on to catch two passes for 29 yards against the Cincinnati Bengals in a Thursday Night affair in Week 4. His playing time would increase as the year progressed before an MCL injury cut his season short.
All things considered, the trade was a good one, as Arnold went on to appear in eight games with three starts and haul in 35 receptions for 408 targets. He should be even better in 2022, as he will have the whole Summer to learn the offense and develop chemistry with his teammates. On the other hand, he will most likely lose targets to fellow tight end Evan Engram, who will tentatively start in Week 1.
Now, Engram’s arrival doesn’t spell doom to Arnold, as both tight ends can coexist and get plenty of snaps. But both will be playing for a new contract, as they are slated to hit the open market next year. Depending on how the season goes, the team’s brass could choose to keep one, both, or neither. This is something worth monitoring as the year progresses.