5 contract extension candidates the Jaguars must lock up now

Jacksonville Jaguars fans, 2021 NFL Draft (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
Jacksonville Jaguars fans, 2021 NFL Draft (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Evan Engram (17). [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union] /

No. 4 Jaguars contract extension candidate: Evan Engram, TE

The Jaguars tried to bolster the tight end position several times last year but got only minimal returns. Besides signing Chris Manhertz in free agency, they drafted Luke Farrell, and inked Jacob Hollister before the start of the 2021 season.

Also, it’s now a footnote but Tim Tebow participated in training camp last year and attempted to make the transition to tight end without much success. It wasn’t until the team traded for Dan Arnold that they had some stability at the position. Arnold quickly became one of Trevor Lawrence’s favorite targets but he then suffered an MCL injury that cut his season short.

Knowing they needed to upgrade their tight end room, the Jaguars signed Evan Engram in free agency. The former Ole Miss Rebel struggled with drops and mental mistakes during his five-year stint with the New York Giants but he also fared well in spite of inconsistent play at the quarterback position.

In spite of Arnold’s presence, Engram has gotten 70 percent of the team’s snaps on offense. He has hauled in 11 receptions for 74 yards in the last two games, and four of those catches have moved the chains. Moreover, he hasn’t registered a drop and has performed well in pass protection.

Manhertz, Arnold, and Engram are all set to become free agents next year. Farrell is not more than a backup at this point of his career, so it might be a good idea to lock Engram up now, so the Jaguars don’t have to worry about the tight end position next offseason. Sure, using an early-round pick on a tight-end prospect in the 2023 draft would be another option but Engram is a proven commodity.