Gardner Minshew: 3 potential scenarios for the Jaguars QB in 2021

Quarterback Gardner Minshew #15 of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Imagn Images photo pool)
Quarterback Gardner Minshew #15 of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Imagn Images photo pool) /

Rookie Trevor Lawrence and Tim Tebow are getting plenty of attention during the Jacksonville Jaguars’ organized team activities. Meanwhile, quarterback Gardner Minshew II seems like an afterthought, but it wasn’t always like this. The Washington State product took the NFL by storm in his rookie campaign and his gritty performance and everyman look gave birth to Minshewmania.

Nevertheless, the 2019 sixth-round pick was underwhelming last season and ended up losing his job. Heading into the 2021 season, Lawrence is set to be the starting quarterback, which leaves Minshew as the primary backup. However, we should always expect the unexpected when it comes to the NFL, and Minshew’s situation could suddenly change for better or worse.

After all, Minshew has shown he can play and was recently ranked as one of the league’s top 25 quarterbacks. Here are three potential scenarios for the third-year quarterback (all of them include a sweet haircut):

How will things play out for Gardner Minshew?

1. Injuries or other circumstances force Minshew into the lineup – This may be the least likely of the possibilities but it shouldn’t be disregarded. Lawrence is on track to be the Jags’ quarterback in Week 1 but what if he struggles in the summer? Football players are always exposed to injuries and the Clemson product is no exception.

If Lawrence isn’t ready in the season opener for whatever reason, Minshew could start, but that’s the thing. What if he plays well? Last season, the Jags struggled as a team, not just the quarterback. The offensive line should be better and the team has one of the best running back situations in the NFL. With a better supporting cast, Minshew might thrive and if that’s the case, Jacksonville could opt to leave him in the lineup for as long as he plays well.

2. Minshew holds a clipboard all year long – This scenario is more feasible than the previous one. Lawrence is the most talented quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck, so the Jags will do everything they can to have him ready for the season opener. Even if the former Tiger has some rough stretches in his rookie campaign, Jacksonville may decide against pulling him off the field.

Although there are some benefits from watching from the sidelines, the Jags may let Lawrence learn on the job. This means Minshew will only see the field if Lawrence misses time with an injury, which is something nobody can control.

3. What if the Jaguars trade Minshew? – You can’t rule out this possibility. The Jags signed C.J. Beathard this offseason and Jake Luton, a sixth-round pick in 2020, is still on the roster. If the team’s brass is comfortable with Beathard backing up Lawrence or if they like what they’ve seen from Luton, they could deal Minshew.

Teams inquired about Gardner Minshew’s availability before this year’s draft and could feel inclined to pursue him if the Jags shop him. The quarterback is one of the best backups in the NFL but also has trade value. If someone makes an offer the Jags can’t refuse, he could leave Duval in 2021.

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