Jacksonville Jaguars: Making the case for Cody Kessler
By David Levin
All the talk over the offseason has been about replacing Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback with another veteran or rookie signal caller. What about Cody Kessler?
It’s a wonder Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Cody Kessler wasn’t broken in half at one point or another last season. The backup turned the starter, who served as a back up once again in the team’s final game of the season, isn’t mentioned as a potential starter next season. But what happens to the former third-round pick of the Cleveland Browns that the Jaguars acquired for a seventh-rounder?
Where does Kessler stand in all the noise in NFL circles about the changes coming at the quarterback position?
In five games last season, Kessler threw for 709 yards and two touchdowns. He completed 64.9 percent of his passes. But he was also playing behind a decimated offensive line and looked at times to be running for his life. He was sacked 22 times and hit too many other times to count.
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Kessler is a game manager who may have fared better if the offensive line wasn’t a patchwork effort.
The same could be said for Blake Bortles, who was dropped 31 times last season, but his mobility out of the pocket made life slightly better for the former first-round draft pick.
As of now, there are four quarterbacks on the Jaguars roster with Bortles apparently a cap casualty in the next few weeks. Tanner Lee is a developmental passer with little upside at the moment.
The Jaguars signed Alex McGough to a futures contract this offseason after spending last season on the Seattle Seahawks practice squad. To say the position here in Jacksonville is bleak is a huge understatement.
Kessler should be given a chance to compete for the backup spot on the roster once again. He is set to make $912,147 in 2019, according to overthecap.com. He is an inexpensive option should the starter go down with an injury or proves to be ineffective.
If the Jaguars bring in a veteran who cannot move the football and Kessler must replace him, the city of Jacksonville just may revolt.
The big names expected to become free agents – Nick Foles, Teddy Bridgewater, Tyrod Taylor – are all still potential options for the Jaguars, with a rookie in waiting. All of this depends on what the front office does with Bortles and how his contract is handled.
And yes, there is still a chance No. 5 will remain on the roster, however slight it is. The Jaguars will likely cut Bortles and sign a veteran in free agency and add a quarterback in one of the first two rounds of the NFL Draft in April.
Kessler may prove to be a solid backup once again, but the likelihood of him starting the season under center in Week 1 is as far off the charts as me winning a date with Alyssa Milano. The organization will almost assuredly keep Kessler in the quarterback room this offseason. But the players who are there with him will change drastically in 2019.