The Jacksonville Jaguars will reportedly use the franchise tag on tight end Evan Engram, effectively preventing him from hitting the open market. Engram would make $11.345 million if he played under the tag in 2023 but he thinks he and other tight ends deserve to get paid more because of all the things they’re asked to do.
Not long after the news broke that the Jags would tag Engram, he reacted to a post that said some slot receivers were going to make more than him in 2023 despite the fact that he was a more complete player. Engram’s response? “This is a very confusing reality for the tight end position today”.
Engram has stated several times that he would like to remain in Jacksonville. On the other hand, he’s aiming for a top-market contract after having a career year in Jacksonville. The former Ole Miss Rebel was an invaluable member of the Jaguars’ offense and besides setting new career highs for yards and catches, he also broke several team records previously held by Kyle Brady.
The highest-paid tight ends in the NFL make an annual average of $14 million or more, and Engram may looking for a contract that pays him that amount yearly. Here’s the post on social media Engram reacted to.
Jacksonville Jaguars TE Evan Engram wants to be fairly compensated
You could make the case that tight ends in the NFL are undervalued in relation to other positions when you take into account that they must also moonlight as blockers in pass protection and run support. Evan isn’t the first the only one to shed light on the issue though. Former NFL tight end Greg Olsen says that tight ends as a group are underpaid.
"We have to do the same — that a $15 million left tackle has to do and run the same routes against the same guy that a $15 million wide receiver has to run routes against, and they’re going to pay us $7 million."
Olson’s comments were made two years ago and salaries for most positions have gone up since then. Nowadays, left tackles and wide receivers can make $20 million in the open market. Still, it’s noteworthy that tight ends’ pay rates still lag behind.
Engram was a key player for the Jaguars last year and nobody should blame him for trying to maximize his value. On the other hand, the Jaguars’ brass has said several times that they want their star tight end back but they must also remain financially responsible, knowing he isn’t the only player they need to bring back.
The Jacksonville Jaguars haven’t officially applied the franchise tag on Engram and they have until March 7th to do so. They still have a few days to get a deal done but if they do use the tag, they must keep contract talks open and find a way to keep him beyond 2023.