Jaguars TE Chris Manhertz has been kind of a bright joy to work with

Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Chris Manhertz (84) at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. The Texans won 13-6. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union]
Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Chris Manhertz (84) at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. The Texans won 13-6. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union] /

While every NFL club needs to find as many franchise building blocks as possible, not every player on a roster can be Pro Bowl-caliber. They need to allocate plenty of spots to contributors whose roles might otherwise go overlooked but are crucial to their overall success. Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Chris Manhertz is one of those players and head coach Doug Pederson spoke of his importance to the team and how enjoyable it is to work with him during a recent exchange with the local media.

He’s been great for us in the run“, Pederson said. “He’s been one of the guys that I’ve really enjoyed working with. Each week, we still try to figure out a way to throw in the ball if we can. He sacrifices a lot to block and he does a great job of that”.

“But I know he wants to catch passes too. And he caught one last week and a couple and just kind of keep him going. And he’s been a valuable piece to the offense, to the run game, and been a bright kind of joy for us to work with”, Pederson said.

Manhertz didn’t play football in college and instead was a three-year captain for the Canisius basketball program. Nevertheless, his physical traits and athleticism allowed him to make the transition to the NFL, and signed as an undrafted free agent with the Buffalo Bills in 2014. The New York native was eventually released and went on to spend time with the New Orleans Saints before signing with the Carolina Panthers in 2016 and later with Jacksonville in 2021.

TE Chris Manhertz has been valuable to the Jaguars

Manhertz had 12 career receptions in 70 games when he joined the Jags and he was mainly brought it for his blocking skills but he’s gone on to become an important piece in their offensive puzzle. Last season, he only had three receptions but one of them went for a touchdown. In fact, he and Jacob Hollister were the only two tight ends that reached the end zone for Jacksonville last season.

This season, Manhertz has seen an increased workload. He’s made three starts and has played 40 percent of the Jaguars’ offensive snaps. Against the Houston Texans in Week 5, he caught two passes, the first time in his career that he’s done so.

Even though Manhertz won’t put up Fantasy Football-like numbers, it’s telling that he’s seen more playing time this year than fellow tight end Dan Arnold even though he’s a less accomplished pass catcher. That goes on to show how much the coaching staff values his blocking skills.

Manhertz is set to become a free agent next offseason but he’s been key to the Jaguars’ success on offense. Given that it might not be cost-prohibitive to re-sign him, it wouldn’t be shocking to see him return to Jacksonville.

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