5 Jacksonville Jaguars with big contract implications this year

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback C.J. Beathard (3) at TIAA Bank Field. (Imagn Images photo pool)
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback C.J. Beathard (3) at TIAA Bank Field. (Imagn Images photo pool) /
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New York Giants tight end Evan Engram (88). (Imagn Images photo pool) /

No. 2 Jaguars player with big contract implications: Evan Engram, TE

Wait, how can tight end Evan Engram enter a year with big contract implications in 2022 even though he hasn’t played a snap for the Jaguars? That would be because both Engram and Dan Arnold are set to hit the open market next offseason.

Arnold joined the Jags via trade once the 2021 regular season had already started and quickly become one of Trevor Lawrence’s go-to targets before suffering an MCL injury in Week 11. He’s still expected to play an important role in Doug Pederson’s “tight end friendly” offense but Engram will get the bulk of the targets barring injuries.

Engram would have to play really poorly to pave the way for Arnold but there’s a good chance he will blossom in Jacksonville. After all, Pederson got the most out of Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert when he coached the Philadelphia Eagles and he will probably do the same for the former Ole Miss Rebel. And even if has to split reps with Arnold, he should be able to tally around 55 to 60 catches and reach the end zone six or seven times.

You could argue that the Jaguars’ brass gave Engram a one-year, prove-it deal in free agency to see how he meshes in the offense but if he’s off to a good start, he might convince the Jaguars to extend their professional relationship beyond 2022. Of course, they could also slap him with the franchise tag but why would they want to give him another one-year deal if they like what they see?