As expected, the New York Giants did not use their franchise tag on tight end Evan Engram.
Many other teams around the league however, have used their franchise tag on tight ends. Below is a complete list of players around the league who have been franchise tagged.
The franchise tag value for tight ends is about $10.931 million and given the decreasing number of tight ends who are expected to hit the free agency market, Engram’s value suddenly sky rockets - a fact the Pro Bowler himself seems to have also realized.
— Evan Engram (@eazyengram) March 8, 2022
Giants fans, meanwhile, are likely to scoff at the notion that Engram deserves to be paid more for his on-field contributions. In his five years with the Giants, Engram has been reliably inconsistent. In 2020, a year in which Engram was named to the Pro Bowl, he was second among NFC tight ends in receptions (63) and receiving yards (654), but he caught just one receiving TD all season.
That year, Engram also led the league in dropped passes and Giants fans will remember one in particular against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 7 that fell right through his hands.
This season, the drops continued but Engram appeared to find his footing a little. He recorded three receiving touchdowns, 46 receptions and 408 yards.
It was an OK performance at best - not one that Engram necessarily deserves a raise for. The Giants picked up his fifth-year option on his rookie contract last season, but are not in a position to pay him much more. New York is still about $7 million over the salary cap with just a week remaining before the new league year begins.
Engram has an upper hand over some of the other tight ends on the market in that he is younger than Rob Gronkowski and Zach Ertz, a stronger mismatch threat than Eric Ebron, and more productive than Robert Tonyan and O.J. Howard.
NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport also reported today that teams have been inquiring about Engram as a possible slot receiver as well as a tight end. If Engram can play two different positions, his value further increases over the other tight ends on the market.
A day after several TEs got franchise tags, one note: Teams have been inquiring about Evan Engram of the #Giants as a slot WR, as well as TE. They believe he’s a match-up problem as a WR, which adds to his value in free agency.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 9, 2022
Giants fans now find themselves in a predicament as it does not seem right that Engram could be worth more money based on his recent performances. But the more he is seemingly worth, the less chance that the Giants will keep him on the team moving forward.