Jacksonville Jaguars fans continue to offer their opinion on the future of quarterback Blake Bortles through social media. Bortles is one of the many hot button topics fans discuss year round.
The fate of quarterback Blake Bortles is a frequent topic on social media. The majority of Jaguars fans appear to want him to move on. But he has his supporters as well. Bortles has become a lightning rod in many ways. Opinions are strong. What is the real story?
Bortles was the Jaguars number one draft choice in 2014. He was a successful quarterback at the University of Central Florida. There is no better story than “hometown boy makes good.” The high choice was a stretch but he had the size, the look, and college success to be a top NFL quarterback. So what happened next?
Blake was ranked 30th of 32 starting quarterbacks in his first season. This was to be expected of a rookie. Sadly, his next two seasons he was ranked 24th and 28th, respectively. The complaining about his lack of success got a little louder amongst fans and local and national media.
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Bortles had a breakout season in 2017 and his rank was 12th in quarterback rankings and he was rewarded with a new contract. 2018 proved to be a disaster as Bortles and the team under performed for various reasons.
The fifth-year starter was benched for several games and the Jaguars front office insinuated that he might not return for 2019.
The chatter about Bortles got louder from fans, sports writers, TV commentators and members of other teams. Thomas George commented that it’s unusual for members of other teams to be so negative.
"Earl Thomas of Seattle said ”That was a subpar quarterback.” Jadeveon Clowney of Houston called him “trash.” Jurrell Casey of the Tennessee Titans commented “…if the game is in his hands he’s going to choke.” All, very negative stuff."
Even the Tampa Bay Times got into the act, adding its own opinion of the Jaguars signal caller. The quarterback rating story commented about Blake “How in the world did he take them to the AFC Title game? Oh yeah he didn’t. The Jags defense took him there.”
Blake Bortles has handled this criticism with an amazing amount of class. George said that Bortles handles criticism well and is a leader off the field. Locally, he has been hailed as a team first guy, focused, never late, never missed a meeting and has never had any disciplinary measures taken against him. He is friendly, socialable, and laid back.
To many of the fans outside the football world, he is the guy you want to hang out with and as one of your friends.
Bortles is a quarterback who is chronically rated in the bottom third of NFL signal callers. He has been highly criticized during his five years in the NFL. His upside is his good natured personality and team first attitude. His teammates speak well of him. But his time in Jacksonville is more than likely at an end.
The Jaguars have a decision to make whether to move on from him before NFL free agency or wait until after June 1.
As a wannabe general manager, I would say that, without placing blame, Blake Bortles has worn out his welcome in Jacksonville with fans, media, and probably teammates behind closed doors. It would be best for all concerned for him to move to a new team and the Jaguars to have a new quarterback.