2nd best contract on the Jaguars roster: Dan Arnold, TE
Contract: $2-year, $3.3 million – 2022 cap number: $2.5 million
After years of minimal investment at tight end, the Jaguars turned their attention to the unit last offseason. Besides re-signing veteran James O’Shaughnessy, they inked Christ Manhertz in free agency and drafted Luke Farrell with a fifth-round pick. They also invited Tim Tebow to try out and acquired Jacob Hollister just before the start of the regular season. However, most of the additions hardly moved the needle and Jacksonville ended up trading for Dan Arnold in exchange for cornerback C.J. Henderson after Week 3.
Arnold made an impact right away and played against the Cincinnati Bengals despite the fact that he had joined the Jags just three days before. His role only got bigger as the season progressed, which made the team’s refusal to sign him in free agency puzzling.
That’s right, Jacksonville could have acquired Arnold in free agency but he apparently didn’t fit their budget at the time. Looking back, they should have, as the tight end went on to become one of Trevor Lawrence’s favorite targets. Imagine how much better their connection would have been if they had practiced together in training camp.
The Jags gave Evan Engram a one-year, $9 million deal in free agency. That’s not the kind of money you pay a player to ride the bench, so the former Ole Miss Rebel will most likely start at tight end on Day 1. However, the coaching staff can’t afford to keep Arnold on the bench and he could end up getting plenty of targets in 2022.