The Jacksonville Jaguars have had their quarterback of the future all along in Gardner Minshew.
I’m pretty sure the news of Newton, who has been looking for an NFL gig since the Carolina Panthers released the former MVP, latching on to another team didn’t make the second-year starter here in Jacksonville stop and take notice. But the reality of Newton wanting to play where he had an opportunity to start lined up well with the national mainstream.
It is still a topic of whether Minshew is the man to take Jacksonville to the next level of success this coming season.
Newton, along with Colin Kaepernick, has been linked to the Jaguars over the past several weeks. Neither, in my mind, would be the right choice to captain this ship of younger players looking to define a new culture along the banks of the St. Johns River. The Jacksonville Jaguars much succeed and fail with No. 15 under center for the front office and coaching staff to really see what they have at the quarterback position.
If it were that important to make a necessary change, then general manager David Caldwell should have listened to Leonard Fournette prior to the NFL Draft and brought Newton in then. Instead, the Jaguars signed journeyman Mike Glennon, kept Joshua Dobbs, and drafted Jake Luton.
I think it’s safe to say the Jacksonville Jaguars are pretty pleased with the possibilities Minshew can offer if the offensive line does their job this season.
The Jaguars know what they have in Minshew, which falls in line with the commitment to a new culture on Jacksonville. His growing chemistry with wide receiver DJ Chark and his command of the team this offseason amid the COVID-19 pandemic is exactly what this team needs at the moment.
I’m not sure the Jaguars front office gets that kind of commitment from a player like Newton, who has been a bit controversial in the past.
Having another veteran quarterback now off the NFL market further strengthens the Jacksonville Jaguars message to Minshew which should be a simple one – go out and develop as our franchise quarterback.
With Jay Gruden now calling the offensive shots and Minshew eager to get on the practice field at the end of July, watching these two work on forming a bond should be one of the better stories to cover heading into training camp. I’m as excited as anyone to see how the offense will come together around the 24-year-old Mississippian.
While the Newton news of his new home with the Patriots isn’t surprising, the news of Kaepernick still being connected to the Jaguars will continue until the veteran who has not thrown an NFL pass in four years finds a new home. The speculation is the Jaguars and a few other destinations would be ideal locations.
This is Minshew’s team. The front office has made this clear as has head coach Doug Marrone. It’s time for the national media to accept that and see where this team lands in 2020. The narrative has been constant – that the Jacksonville Jaguars are the worst team in the league and may need another quarterback to lead them out of desperation.
Let’s see what Minshew can do first and listen to that conversation later. Newton landing with the Patriots is a win for the Jacksonville Jaguars. It’s an even bigger victory for Gardner Minshew.