The Jacksonville Jaguars shockingly picked up Blake Bortles’ fifth year option, but things will get really interesting if he plays well in 2017.
After the 2015 season, folks were already talking about handing quarterback Blake Bortles a contract extension. The UCF product had just finished up the best statistical season of any quarterback in Jacksonville Jaguars franchise history and the offense as a whole looked primed to become elite.
After the 2016 season, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who thinks Blake Bortles will earn a big extension anytime soon.
Dan Graziano over at ESPN was inspired after seeing Derek Carr get paid quite a large sum of money, and he put out a piece looking at which quarterback contracts would be coming up soon. Blake Bortles came in at 7 (since the Jaguars have to figure out what to do with him already after the season), and his analysis was interesting.
"7. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville JaguarsThe Jags hold a $19.053 million option on Bortles for 2018, but that’s only guaranteed against injury right now. It doesn’t become fully guaranteed until the start of the 2018 league year. If the Jags decide to move on from Bortles before then, he’s not likely to get any kind of major extension. But if they decide he’s their guy for the long term (or even just for 2018), then he’s positioned for an extension sometime next summer or the one after that. And it’ll be worth watching even if he’s not elite. Bortles’ next deal could serve as a floor for contract expectations to come for mid-tier QBs who outperform him."
It’s unlikely Bortles will play well enough for the Jaguars to extend him after the 2017 season, which means he really has two make-or-break seasons in front of him.
Ultimately, the type of extension Bortles gets (if he gets one) will be determined by how well the team does overall. A playoff appearance (or 2) will make it difficult for the team to let Bortles go. That means he’ll get a contract at least equivalent to what we see guys like Andy Dalton or Alex Smith get. If he produces statistically as well, the contract could get even bigger.
It’s really all on Bortles.