Jaguars TE Dan Arnold brought up as Bills potential trade target

Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Dan Arnold (85) at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Dan Arnold (85) at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports /

The deadline to trade players this season is on Nov. 1, so you will start hearing about potential proposals in the next two weeks. As a matter of fact, Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Dan Arnold was brought up as a player the Buffalo Bills could be interested in acquiring.

Bill Barnwell of ESPN recently put together a list of 15 player proposals ahead of the trade deadline and he suggests the Bills inquire about Arnold in exchange for a sixth-round selection in next year’s draft. Barnell points out that Arnold arrived during the Urban Meyer era and has seen his playing time decrease this season, so the Jags would be able to shop him. He goes on to name Buffalo as a potential destination for the veteran tight end.

"A move to the Bills would make sense Buffalo seemed to want a second veteran tight end behind Dawson Knox when they signed OJ. Howard this offseason, but Howard failed to make the team in camp. Knox and backup Tommy Sweeney have both struggled to stay healthy, leading the Bills to rely on Quintin Morris a week ago. Arnold would offer some veteran security and the flexibility to play or two or three tight-end sets when the situation calls for another big body."

An undrafted free agent in 2017, Arnold spent time with the New Orleans Saints, and the Arizona Cardinals before signing with the Carolina Panthers last offseason. But his stay in Carolina only lasted a few months, as he was traded to Jacksonville after Week 3 of the 2021 season. Not long after acquiring the Wisconsin native, general manager Trent Baalke said the team’s brass wanted to pursue him in free agency but couldn’t fit it in.

Arnold made an impact right off the bat. Just three days after arriving with the Jaguars, he had two catches for 29 yards against the Cincinnati Bengals and his workload increased as the 2022 campaign progressed. From Weeks 5 to 9, he was targeted 38 times and caught 25 passes for 286 yards. Unfortunately, he suffered an MCL injury in Week 11 that ended his season prematurely.

The Jaguars could afford to move Dan Arnold if chose to do so

Arnold became the Jaguars’ No. 1 tight end and one of Trevor Lawrence’s favorite targets as soon as he was traded. However, he hasn’t gotten much playing time this year due to the arrival of Evan Engram in the offseason.

Engram has played 73.16 percent of the Jaguars’ offensive snaps this season while Arnold has appeared on just 14.45 percent. In fact, Chris Manhertz has 85 more snaps than Arnold this season, so he would most likely candidate to replace Engram if he had to miss time.

Going back to Barnwell’s trade proposal, the Jaguars wouldn’t probably get a better offer than a sixth-round pick and they have the depth to afford to move on from Arnold if teams made calls about him. The team’s brass would then need to decide if Arnold isn’t part of the team’s plans next year and if that’s the case, getting a late-round selection for him would make sense.

Having said that, Engram, Manhertz, and Arnold are all set to become free agents next offseason and the Jags might be working with a limited budget, so they might have a hard time bringing Engram back. Arnold, on the other hand, may be a cheaper alternative if they don’t want to fully rebuild their tight end room.

Blockbuster trades hardly ever happen before the deadline but you should always expect the unexpected when it comes to the NFL and Arnold could garner interest from teams looking to bolster their depth at tight end.

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