The Jacksonville Jaguars have a pressing challenge to sign a number of talented young players in 2017 as they enter the final season of their contracts.
As the 2017 season approaches, hype and excitement fills the air for the Jacksonville Jaguars. One of the most concerning issues heading into the season, however, are the players on their contract years. I’m here to break down what needs to happen for some of these key position players approaching a possible last go around in Duval.
Blake Bortles is entering his fourth season as the Jaguars signal caller. Bortles has faced some tough criticism following his 2016 campaign which saw him fail to meet expectations. Failing to meet or improve on the prior year, Bortles finished the year just shy of 4,000 yards and 12 touchdowns less than what he accomplished in 2015.
Bortles had a great cast of receivers to choose from with 2015 pro bowler Allen Robinson, newly re-signed Allen Hurns, and Marqise Lee. The Allen duo had a spectacular 2015 season that helped them become established as legitimate threats to defenses.
Unfortunately turnovers again proved to be an issue last season with Bortles turning over the ball 17 times (16 interceptions and one fumble). Another growing concern was an odd throwing motion that was not present in previous seasons. While some are calling for a new quarterback under center next season, executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin seems to be on the fence.
"“There can be no way the ball is turned over to that extent, so I think he’d be the first one to say that he has a lot of work to do. But we all have a lot of work to do, so I’m going to put it that way.” – Tom Coughlin"
As reported by Michael DiRocco of ESPN. DiRocco went on pointing out that Bortles’ win total as the Jaguars quarterback is the same amount of pick-sixes he has thrown in his career (11). Bortles has been in California this offseason working with 3DQB to improve his throwing motion which he believes should also help contribute to less turnovers.
The 3rd overall selection three years ago has quite the make or break season looming over him. Blake has to succeed whether that is in regards to statistics or win totals. Jacksonville has had a run of bad to below average quarterback play for some time now. With Coughlin not ruling out the chance at drafting a quarterback, “If the quarterback is there at the right time and we agree that we love him, then it could happen,” the seat has certainly gotten a bit warmer for Bortles.