Blake Bortles could be a cap asset to the Jacksonville Jaguars in future seasons if he wants to be.
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles has been called many things over the past four years. Some good, some bad. But could the fifth-year starter for the AFC South champs earn another moniker that could help the franchise?
Will Bortles be referred to as the “Cap Friendly” quarterback, the one who helps the Jacksonville Jaguars sign players in the future to make continual runs toward the playoffs?
It’s something that was brought up in an interview on Sirius XM NFL Radio recently. Bortles, who won two playoff games in 2017 while helping the Jaguars to the AFC Title Game, referred to what Tom Brady has done in the past – taking less money for a chance to win multiple Super Bowl rings.
"“I think definitely the way that Tom has done it is the way to try to model,” Bortles said. “Having guys and putting pieces around him was definitely something. When you take up a ton of money you kind of limit your team and who they can help you out with and put around you."
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"“I’m not naive enough to say that we don’t need a run game. We also need a good defense, we need good receivers, we need all these pieces. You can’t play as a quarterback and do it yourself so I’m more than willing to take less money than somebody else might in my position to put good guys around us.”"
The Jaguars have done a solid job the past few seasons adding veterans through free agency and drafting players for need. General Manager Dave Caldwell has turned this team into a contender after years of struggling to find mediocrity.
Bortles could have played under his fifth-year option in 2018, which would have netted him $19 million over the course of the season. Instead, he and the Jaguars worked out a cap-friendly deal over the next three seasons for $54 million. The deal is guaranteed for $26.5 million and the cap hit the Jaguars take this season is only $10 million.
Should Bortles prove to be the improved player he was last season and continue that growth, the team could negotiate another deal where money does not become the object, rather keeping the team’s starter in the fold and more players signed at key positions for the future.
The Jaguars will have decisions to make regarding veteran salaries next season and in 2020. The team and Caldwell will also look to sign Yannick Ngakoue, Jalen Ramsey, and Myles Jack to long-term deals.