Evan Engram skipping Jacksonville Jaguars voluntary workouts not cause for concern

Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Evan Engram (17) pulls in a pass from quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Evan Engram (17) pulls in a pass from quarterback Trevor Lawrence. / Bob Self/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY

The Jacksonville Jaguars will begin their offseason program today, April 15 but tight end Evan Engram, who got the franchise tag, won't reportedly be in attendance. Even though you want all your players to partake in all team activities, his absence should not be a cause for concern at least for now.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports that Engram won't be reporting for the Jagas' strength and conditioning activities Monday. The tight end is one of several players that were slapped with the franchise tag and won't be in attendance for voluntary workouts. The others are running back Josh Jacobs (Las Vegas Raiders), quarterback Lamar Jackson (Baltimore Ravens), and running back Saquon Barkley (New York Giants).

A first-round pick by Giants in 2020, Engram signed a one-year deal with Jacksonville last offseason. The former Ole Miss Rebel became a key cog on offense and went on to post career highs in catches (73) and receiving yards (766). He also set team records for receiving yards in a game by a tight end (162), catches by a tight end in a season, and receiving yards by a tight end in a season.

Throughout the season, Engram expressed his desire to remain with the Jags and it seemed like they were close to striking a long-term deal. However, they couldn't get it done before the start of free agency, and the team's brass opted to apply the franchise tag on him.

Now, the Jaguars and Engram have until July 15 to reach an agreement. After the deadline, they will no longer be able to negotiate and he'll play the 2023 season on the tag.

Jacksonville Jaguars TE Evan Engram is making a business decision by not attending workouts

You could make the case that Engram should be a team player, sign the tag, and show up to voluntary workouts. However, his absence won't affect his potential impact in the 2023 season. He's probably training on his own and will be ready by the time training camp rolls.

Keep in mind that these workouts are voluntary. If they were mandatory, Engram would most likely be in attendance, and by being absent, he's trying to make it clear he wants to get a multi-year contract. When you take into account that a player's window to maximize their earnings is limited, the tight end's demands for a new deal seem reasonable.

In the worst-case scenario, the Jaguars could rescind the franchise tag at any time but that would send the wrong message to other players. After becoming an essential part of the offense, that's the way you treat Engram? The most likely scenario is that he will sign the tag and hit the open market next year.

This is a fluid situation and there's still time to get a contract done. Even though there are no signs it will happen, the Jaguars and Engram could reach a deal at any time. For the time being, the team won't be graced with his presence in voluntary offseason workouts.

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