Extending D.J. Chark Jr. could be manageable, per Spotrac’s market value projections

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The Jacksonville Jaguars have several areas of need this offseason, but there aren’t many bigger priorities than adding weapons in the passing game to aid in the development of second-year quarterback Trevor Lawrence. As far as the receiver position goes, the team has one massive decision to make regarding D.J. Chark Jr.

The former second-round pick struggled with drops as a rookie in 2018, but he was vastly improved in his second season and has been the team’s most reliable playmaker since. His 2021 season was cut short with a broken ankle in Week 4, though, and now it’s time to decide whether to offer him an extension or let him test free agency.

The Jags could decide to go in a different direction at receiver, but if they decide to extend Chark, it might hurt their pockets too much, at least in the eyes of Spotrac. According to them, a market value deal for Chark would be in the range of $47.6 million over four years, which would pay an average of $11.9 million annually.

That deal would make him just the 22nd highest-paid receiver in the league, which seems like good value for a player with Chark’s upside. Perhaps more importantly, it’s not a price tag that would prohibit the Jags from targeting a top-tier receiver in free agency like Chris Godwin.

The Jags don’t have a lot of big contracts on the books, and with the team currently projected to have the third-most available cap space in the league, they could easily afford to sign Chark. Considering his decent production — 2,042 yards and 15 touchdowns on 147 catches in four years — that seems like a deal they’d be happy to make, even if he’s only crossed the 1,000-yard threshold once back in 2019.