Jacksonville Jaguars 3 best moves of the 2023 offseason
2. The Jacksonville Jaguars stand firm, don't give a long-term deal to Evan Engram
This might be a bit of a controversial take but the truth is that the Jaguars, general manager Trent Baalke in particular, deserve credit for setting a budget and holding their ground in negotiations with tight end Evan Engram.
Make no mistake, Engram deserves a new contract, and given a player's limited window to maximize their career earnings, he's right for trying to get as much money as possible. In fact, he's right for skipping offseason workouts, as he would otherwise run the risk of getting injured and not getting the deal he wants.
The 5 highest-paid tight ends in the NFL right now are getting an average of $14 million per year or more. Engram might want a salary in that range, and rightfully so, after breaking several team records and setting new personal bests for catches and receiving yards.
Working against Engram is that there wasn't a big demand for tight ends this offseason. Mike Gesicki and Dalton Schultz had to settle for one-year deals and neither of them will cross the $10 million mark.
When you take into account that the Jaguars' brass might need to write several big checks next year -- Trevor Lawrence, receiver Calvin Ridley and edge rusher Josh Allen -- waiting to give Engram a long-term deal right now might be the best course of action.
The bottom line is that Engram deserves a big contract but he might need until next offseason to get it. While there's still time to get a deal done, it's hard to see the Jaguars and their star tight end finding common ground before the July 15 deadline.