Evan Engram says Josh Allen ‘has to be back’ with Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars will undoubtedly make roster changes during the 2024 offseason after a tailspin at the end of 2023 cost them a spot in the playoffs. But one move that isn’t an option, according to tight end Evan Engram, is the team splitting with pass rusher Josh Allen.

“He has to be back. He has to be,” Engram told reporters at the 2024 Pro Bowl Games, via 1010XL. “He’s been in a staple in [Jacksonville] since he got there. The year he just had, you can’t let that go. You can’t let that go. I think he’s in a good spot. I know we want him back, I know upstairs wants him back. I told him just be patient and everything he’s ever wanted will come to him.”

Allen, 26, is set to become a free agent next month, but Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke has guaranteed that won’t come to fruition. Given the sluggish start to negotiations between the pass rusher and the team, the likely scenario is that Allen receives the franchise tag from the Jaguars.

If any player could relate to the situation, it’s Engram.

The veteran tight end signed a one-year deal with the Jaguars in 2022, but after his first season with the team Baalke told reporters Engram “will be on this football team” in 2023. Engram was then franchised by Jacksonville and, finally, signed a three-year, $42.5 million deal with the team in July.

While Engram later said he “never doubted” that the Jaguars valued him and wanted to keep him, he also said “it was a roller coaster” ride of an offseason.

The 2024 offseason could be a roller coaster ride for Allen too. But like Engram said, there’s no way the Jaguars can afford to let the pass rusher walk.

Story originally appeared on Jaguars Wire