The Jacksonville Jaguars have built a solid nucleus over the past two years. Among the key players they brought in is tight end Evan Engram, who originally signed a one-year deal but is now in for the long haul. Trevor Lawrence met with the local media Wednesday and talked about the impact Engram has had on the team.
"He's really a spark for us. He brings a lot of energy. You get the ball in his hands, he can make a lot of plays. He's great," Lawrence said. "He's really great after the catch, that's something that is definitely a strong suit of his. He's great. Honestly, he's a great route runner. We have so many guys we want to get the ball to and you see the receiver and those guys, they flash but Evan is a great route runner. He's a mismatch for a lot of safeties and linebackers on him, so that's something you always try to take advantage of.
"Off the field, or not necessarily off the field, but not talking about him with the ball, but his leadership, the way he works. He's one of our hardest workers. He's one of the first ones out there every day, last ones off the field. He stays pretty much every Wednesday with us and sometimes Thursday with the quarterbacks and watches tape, third downs, and all that. That's a big part of our relationship as well as we talked through a bunch of stuff, and we're watching tape together, and whether it's a coverage or a play that we have in on third down, and if they play this coverage, how we're going to attack it. Those things, continuing to conversate and talk about everything" Lawrence said.
Lawrence continued, "That's where you build the chemistry, especially with the tight ends and receivers, and those guys. He's done a great job with that and worked super hard. And I've seen his confidence keep growing and growing. That's kind of the story for a lot of us on offense and over the past year and a half of how we're working alongside each other. It's kind of brought us all up and elevated everyone, so that's cool to see when everyone starts to play better because of the guy next to him. That's the ultimate goal. "
In spite of wide receiver Calvin Ridley's addition, Evan Engram still remains a big part of the Jaguars offense. In fact, the tight end is second in the team with 29 yards on 37 targets for 260 yards through five games. Here's part of Trevor Lawrence's exchange with the media.
Evan Engram has enjoyed a career revival with the Jaguars
Evan Engram's tenure with the New York Giants was marred by drops and mental mistakes. While he wasn't necessarily bad and even made the Pro Bowl in 2020, he didn't precisely live up to expectations, which is why they let him walk in free agency last year. But the Jaguars didn't care about Engram's past performance and instead pursued him because of his potential impact on offense.
Originally, Jacksonville offered Engram a long-term deal but he opted for a one-year contract because he wanted to bet on himself. The decision paid off and he went on to post career highs in both receiving yards and catches last year. The former Ole Miss Rebel made it clear late in the 2022 season that he was open to remaining in Jacksonville but he and the team needed lots of time before they could agree to an extension.
In the end, Engram got a three-year deal worth $41.25 million, and he's picked up where he left off last year. Also, his contract is relatively team-friendly, so his deal won't impact any future contract decisions the Jags will make.
All things considered, the Jaguars are a better team with Evan Engram in the mix. As Trevor Lawrence noted, his value goes beyond the football field, so it's fair to say Jacksonville is getting a bang for their buck.