Jacksonville Jaguars 2018 Quarterback is already under contract

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Despite reports that the team will shop around for a quarterback, the Jaguars 2018 quarterback is likely already signed.

Typically, when a team goes to the AFC championship game with a fourth year quarterback, there is no speculation about that player’s future. Unfortunately, the career of Blake Bortles is not typical. Fairly or not, the perception is that the Jacksonville Jaguars succeeded DESPITE their signal caller, and not because of him.

One day after playing within four points of the defending Super Bowl champions deep into the postseason, Bortles was answering questions about his future.

The thought here is that the team will indeed explore other options as they should. It’s the most important position in sports. However, teams rarely find their Super Bowl champion centerpieces via free agency. There are always exceptions that prove the rule, but let’s take a look at some of the names penciled in as the Jaguars quarterback next season.

Drew Brees

In my best dreams, Brees finishes his career as a Jaguar. This is a pipe dream. There’s no way the Saints let him walk. Absolutely, positively no way.

Alex Smith

This one makes a lot of sense. Smith is a solid if unspectacular presence under center and could immediately give the Jaguars the kind of functionality from the pocket that they crave. Here’s the thing – Alex Smith is not a free agent.

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Were Smith simply on the street picking the best suitor for himself he could be the Jaguar’s 2018 quarterback. There seems to be interest from the team and Smith likely wants to finish his career with a contender. However, Tom Coughlin and company simply don’t have the draft capital.

Even if the front office were to offer their first round pick, that’s still only the 29th pick in the draft. It’s possible to put together a bundle deal that includes multiple or even future picks, but the thinking here is that another team with more and better draft picks will want him more. (There is already speculation the Browns are in on a trade for Smith.) The Jaguars could and should not get in a battle for the best trade package for the veteran. You don’t mortgage drafts for quarterbacks with one or two years left in the tank.

There is also reason to doubt the former first overall pick as a clear upgrade over Bortles. Since entering the league in 2005, Smith was run out-of-town by high draft picks not once, but twice. Just last season, despite playing for a perennial contender for one of the most respected coaches not named Bill Belichick, the Chiefs traded up in the draft to grab Patrick Mahomes. The message is clear: Alex Smith probably can’t win the big game. It’s foolish to give up multiple draft picks for a quarterback in the tail end of his career who hasn’t won a playoff game.

Jimmy Garoppolo

Mouth watering prospect, but see Drew Brees. John Lynch didn’t make the trade and watch his new QB run the table just to let him walk.

Kirk Cousins

This one is intriguing. All indications are that Cousins is in the prime of his career right now. Of all potential free agents on this list, he could be a linchpin as the Jaguars 2018 quarterback.

Here’s the thing – if everyone can see that Cousins is a potential franchise passer for years to come, you know who else can? Washington. As great as Cousin’s game is, teams don’t typically let talent like that leave the facility. Thoughts here are that somehow Washington gets the deal done before he can hit the streets.

Early draft pick

I think it’s extremely likely the Jaguars draft a passer early. There are rumors the team is sniffing around Mason Rudolph and a few mocks are popping up that show Jacksonville selecting Lamar Jackson. Here’s the thing: there is no reason for this team to start a rookie quarterback, especially when they have a veteran under contract who they showed they can win with.

Although I expect the team to go address the position early in the draft, barring injury, they will not draft the Jaguars 2018 quarterback.

Other free agent quarterbacks

Any arguments made for the Sam Bradfords or Brian Hoyers of the world are purely contrarian and frankly ridiculous. While it’s hard to make an argument for Blake Bortles as an elite player at this point of time, it’s ridiculous to pose any of the also-ran names out on the market as potential upgrades.

Blake Bortles will get one more shot to prove he’s a franchise passer

Bortles showed uncommon grit in the 2017 season and he made vast improvements over his last campaign. Still, he will need to continue to improve at an accelerated rate to prove this team or any team should build an offense around him.

For now? Say hello to the Jaguars 2018 quarterback. It’s a familiar face.