QB Gardner Minshew is too valuable to be traded in 2021

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew recently made headlines because he changed haircuts for the second time this year. He’s also gotten the spotlight because he’s been the subject of trade talks this offseason. It might’ve made sense for the Jags to deal him before 2021’s draft, as they could’ve gotten max compensation for him However, they are better off keeping the mulletless signal-caller for at least one more year.

There were reports clubs inquired about Minshew’s availability before this year’s selection meeting but there hasn’t been any news about a potential deal. Moreover, Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer said the team is pleased with the Washington State product. That may not deter teams from calling Jacksonville before the regular season starts though. Chris Roling of Bleacher Report recently suggested the Carolina Panthers trade for the 2019 sixth-round pick.

Roling points out the Panthers don’t have much depth behind Sam Darnold after shipping off Teddy Bridgewater to the Denver Broncos. He thinks the Jaguars could get a fourth-round selection in exchange for the former Cougar. On the other hand, Roling believes that even after trading for Minshew, Darnold would still be the unquestioned starter.

This isn’t the first time someone sees Carolina as a potential landing spot for Minshew. The difference is that if he’s going to join the Panthers, it will be because he will have a legitimate chance to compete for the starting job. P.J. Walker and Will Grier and the only quarterback behind Darnold in the depth chart, and Minshew is arguably better than the three of them.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are better off keeping Gardner Minshew.

Minshew isn’t the long-term solution at quarterback but he could win a few games for the Jaguars if rookie Trevor Lawrence missed time. He certainly has value as a backup and was even ranked among the top 25 signal-callers in the NFL, which would make him better than a few starters. That’s why it doesn’t make sense for the Jags to trade him for a fourth or late-round selection. Why should this Jacksonville team give away their depth?

Sure, Minshew would like to compete for starting job and may not be pleased he won’t be able to do that in Jacksonville. Nevertheless, he now finds himself as the Jaguars’ backup quarterback because he couldn’t seize the starting job when he had the chance last year. The thumb injury he sustained in the middle of the 2020 season might’ve played a factor in his inconsistency but the harsh truth is that the NFL is a production-oriented league and Minshew didn’t execute when he needed to.

If Gardner Minshew wants to compete for a starting job once again, he would be better off taking a step back, so he can work on his fundamentals, and be ready in case the Jaguars need him. If he performs well, Jacksonville will have no choice but to accept his request and trade him to a team where he will have the chance to start. In the meantime, he needs to work on becoming the best player he can be.