Evan Engram is hoping his NFL future is with the Jacksonville Jaguars and he believes the team wants him there long-term as well. The tight end is set to be one of the top free agents in his position after the best season of his career in 2022.
Engram spoke to SiriusXM NFL Radio about his future, saying while he sees mutual interest in remaining in Jacksonville, the NFL is still a business.
"The conversations we've had are very positive; he (agent Mike McCartney) has a great relationship with the Jags, so hopefully something gets done and I think it's mutual," he said. "We haven't had too many conversations yet, but the interest is there on both sides for me to come back, and obviously, I would love to come back as well. But like you said, it's a business. I felt like I've put a lot of great things on film, had a lot of great results this year, and I was a big part of helping my team win. So, when you do that at the pass-catcher position -- you have a lot of highlight plays, and you're doing something special with the football -- those guys get taken care of financially wise."
Based on his tweets, Engram seems to think the announcement of a deal is coming soon. On Tuesday, the Jaguars tweeted about Engram's stats, to which he replied, "My heart dropped, I thought this was the announcement," with a laughing face emoji.
Jaguars wide receiver Christian Kirk responded, saying, "You ain't going anywhere my boy," with a laughing emoji and a shrug emoji.
You not goin anywhere my boy 😂🤷🏽♂️— Christian Kirk (@ckirk) February 21, 2023
Engram was on a one-year, $9 million deal last season and is hopeful that he has proven himself worthy of a more hefty contract.
In 2022, he had a career high 73 catches for 766 yards, with a catch percentage of 74.5% and four touchdowns. He was crucial to the team down the stretch, helping lead them to their first playoff appearance since 2017. He lead the offense with seven catches, 93 yards and one touchdown in the Jags' wild-card playoff win over the Los Angeles Chargers.
The franchise tag is an option if a mutual number is not agreed on, but Engram is not too worried about that possibility.
"It's a hypothetical, so it could happen, it could not," he said, regarding a franchise tag. "If that happens, I think that would be a place-holder to get something done. That's just the way I feel about it. If it does come to that, there will be conversations I have with my team, and we'll move forward from there. If that does happen, I'm going to be blessed either way. We'll figure something out long-term that both sides will be happy with."
With quarterback Trevor Lawrence and an improved offense, the Jags showed hope for the future and bringing back a reliable pass-catcher in Engram would certainly boost their chances next season.