Evan Engram revitalized his career by notching career highs in receptions and receiving yards during his first year in Jacksonville.
The Jaguars tight end saw the benefits of his great 2022 season in a three-year, $41.25 million contract he officially signed on Monday, which negated the one-year deal he was about to play on in 2023 as a franchise-tagged player.
Celebrating the end of a long negotiation and the security of a long-term deal, Engram is thrilled to remain with the team that believed in him this time last year.
"From Day 1, I was on a mission to prove a lot to myself as a player," Engram said on Monday, via the team’s official website. "I wasn't expecting the amount of support I got from the fan base and my coaches and the people here. Obviously, my family always has my back, but the love I have here means a lot and it helps me a lot. …
"Obviously the Jaguars believed in me. They wanted me here as much as I wanted to be here, so I'm blessed and really thankful we got something done."
Signing a one-year, prove-it deal ahead of 2022, the former Giants TE quickly found a rapport with Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who put together a breakout season of his own. Engram produced 73 receptions for 766 yards and four touchdowns during Jacksonville's AFC South-winning campaign and had quite a playoff debut with seven catches for 93 yards and a score in the Jags' thrilling wild-card win over the Los Angeles Chargers.
Although he proved himself as a viable fit in the offense, Engram was given the franchise tag (valued at $11.345 million) instead of a long-term deal in the early stages of the offseason. The 28-year-old skipped the team's offseason program in the interim but said his intention was to play for the Jags "no matter what" in 2023.
"Obviously the goal was to get a deal done," Engram said on Monday. "I knew going into it I was ready to do either one -- either play on the tag or get a deal done. The big thing was I wanted the security so I could go to work and come out and compete with those guys and have a little security for myself and my family.
"Everybody that was involved in getting it done, I'm very thankful."
Jacksonville is poised to improve in head coach Doug Pederson's second season at the helm. With wideout Calvin Ridley reinstated from suspension, Lawrence's weapons have improved on paper and the young offense returns most of its starters in 2023.
Engram certainly played a big part in the ongoing revival of the Jaguars, and he looks to maintain that success in 2023 and beyond after his own resurgence.
"It was a crazy year. It became more about the team than about myself on a one-year deal," Engram said. "That put me in a place where I knew what I was going out and fighting for every single day, and in the process of that I put myself in a good position.
"How much fun we had last year, all the ups and downs … to see how the fan base rallied behind us … it makes everything a little more exciting. We're excited to give them something to cheer about."