A quality, veteran backup is integral for a young quarterback’s development and Chad Henne is no exception for Blake Bortles and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Chad Henne and Blake Bortles clearly have great chemistry and a solid relationship that has helped the latter to become one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL.
Creating that level of trust, camaraderie, and chemistry is a delicate balance in the NFL. It’s tough to secure a veteran quarterback who still has upside and convince him to back up a guy who is barely out of college and show him the ropes.
Make no mistake, Chad Henne could still be a starter for some teams in the NFL. But he’s in a comfortable spot with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Blake Bortles.
It would behoove the Jags to do everything to keep that comfort the same. Henne’s presence is an overall positive for the Jaguars and he will deserve making slightly more money as a backup, now that he is scheduled to hit free agency.
Vito Stellino noted in 2014 that Henne should be applauded for his work helping bring Bortles along. He has developed into a strong mentor and has really worked to turn that into a professional role for the Jags.
As noted at Rant Sports, the market for backup quarterbacks like Henne will be pretty slim in free agency this offseason. Players like Matt Schaub and Sam Bradford will be available but neither of them present attractive options, for different reasons.
Other possible backup quarterbacks set to hit free agency include Chase Daniel, Drew Stanton, and Ryan Fitzpatrick. With the exception of Fitzpatrick, who likely will want to continue to compete as a starter given his successful season with the New York Jets, none of the top free agents will give Bortles the type of mentorship that Henne has been delivering over the past couple years.
Upsetting that delicate balance could be detrimental to Bortles’ future success with the Jaguars. Re-signing the backup with the best mustache in the NFL is a priority (and not just because Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan also has an excellent ‘stache) and the Jaguars know it.
Hopefully we’ll see Henne return for 2016, if only to get more quality gifs of him and his ‘stache on the sidelines. Henne didn’t take a snap all season in 2015 and that’s perfectly fine for the Jaguars.