By not adding any competition at QB, the Jaguars are doubling down on Blake Bortles – most analysts don’t think that will work out.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have changed quite a bit about their roster over the last 2 seasons and you’d have a hard time trying to argue they aren’t a more talented team compared to 2014.
Over the course of several drafts and free agency periods, the Jaguars have accumulated solid players at almost every position in their starting lineup.
Unfortunately, one of the spots that hasn’t been settled is the most important one – quarterback.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have committed themselves to Blake Bortles for the 2017 regular season (and perhaps beyond after picking up his 5th year option), but they haven’t exactly publicly declared their confidence in the young signal caller.
Dan Graziano over at ESPN started his season-long QB “confidence” index column this week, and he has the Jacksonville Jaguars with Blake Bortles in one of the lowest tiers.
"WATCH YOUR BACK26. Jacksonville JaguarsA new coach (Doug Marrone) and new VP of football operations (Tom Coughlin) mean the heat is on 2014 first-round pick Blake Bortles. He had an absolutely rotten 2016 season and has thrown more interceptions (51) than anyone in the league the past three years other than Philip Rivers (52). Like the Dolphins, the Jaguars didn’t draft anyone to compete with or pressure Bortles. Like the Dolphins, they have an eternal backup option in Chad Henne if things don’t work out.They picked up Bortles’ 2018 contract option, but until next March, that is guaranteed only against injury, which means they can cut Bortles loose next spring if they don’t feel that he is worth $19 million in 2018. It’s a prove-it year for Bortles in Jacksonville, and the organization is looking for reasons to feel confident."
Everything in that analysis is spot on. Bortles is the guy; he doesn’t have any challengers sitting behind him; and he is gone after this year if he doesn’t perform well. It’s a fairly simple proposition as long as Bortles doesn’t get hurt and guarantee his 2018 salary.
The annual draft trope is “wait til next year” for a quarterback since the grass is always greener in the upcoming draft class, but there’s a chance that might be true in 2018. If so, the Jaguars will be quick to drop Bortles for a better prospect coming out of college.