Jacksonville Jaguars TE Evan Engram officially gets the franchise tag: 3 takeaways
2. Jacksonville Jaguars letting RT Jawaan Taylor in free agency seems inevitable
Following the news that Evan Engram will get the franchise tag, right tackle Jawaan Taylor’s fate in Jacksonville seems pretty much sealed. Just recently, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reported that Taylor was expected to have a massive market in free agency and added that other clubs were willing to pay him an annual salary of $17 million. The Jaguars can’t fit that amount in their budget this year.
After reworking some contracts and re-signing a few players in late February and earlier this month, Jacksonville managed to free up around $15 million in cap space. But as the old adage says, easy comes, easy goes.
The Jaguars will earmark $11.35 million to pay Engram on top of accounting for Calvin Ridley’s contract, which didn’t count against the cap while he was suspended. The team’s brass will now need to keep making space to sign their 2023 rookie class, which will account for around $10 million.
This means that it will be virtually impossible for the Jaguars to make a competitive offer to Taylor. Mia O’Brien of 1010 XL had previously reported that they had left an offer on the table but they were “ok” with the former Florida Gator becoming a free agent. Keep in mind that this isn’t anything unexpected. The Jaguars’ brass had outlined an offseason blueprint and had braced themselves for the possibility of Taylor leaving. While they would like to keep him, the math doesn’t add up.
One thing that could lessen the impact of Taylor’s departure is that Walker Little seems to be ready to step into a starting role, which is why Jacksonville most likely prioritized keeping Evan Engram.