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Jaguars to franchise tag TE Evan Engram

AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Chargers v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Jacksonville Jaguars are expected to place the franchise tag on tight end Evan Engram.

Engram was signed by the Jaguars last offseason on a one-year deal worth $9 million. After playing for five seasons in East Rutherford, the former first round pick out of Ole Miss set career-highs in receptions (73) and receiving yards (766) in Jacksonville.

Engram’s return to the Jaguars was, frankly, a terribly-kept secret. He and Trent Baalke each said in recent weeks that there’s a mutual interest between both sides, and C.J. Beathard showed up to sign his contract extension in a Be Eazy hat. Trevor Lawrence quote-tweeted the graphic embedded above and wrote “Just the start” as Engram himself teased “My heart dropped I thought this was the announcement” while Christian Kirk responded “You not goin anywhere my boy”.

On top of all these player antics, multiple beat reporters have long expected Engram to reach a deal with the Jaguars. An AFC Pro Scout told John Shipley of Jaguar Report earlier this week, “The Jaguars won’t let him leave. It isn’t a secret. Every team knows it.”

It’s likely that the team is using the franchise tag simply to extend contract negotiations, like last year with Cam Robinson. Jacksonville has until July 17 to sign Engram to a multi-year extension. In the small chance Engram does play on the tag, he’ll be owed $11.345 million in 2023.