The Jaguars re-signed quarterback Chad Henne on Friday, something they’ve said they wanted to do since the start of the offseason even though Henne himself knows that the team is looking for a young quarterback who can be a long-term answer to the position.
That young quarterback isn’t guaranteed to be the short-term answer, though. Coach Gus Bradley said Friday, via the Florida Times Union, that Henne will be first on the depth chart heading into OTAs and would likely be the starter come Week One even if the team uses the third pick in the draft on a quarterback.
This is not the time of year to take anything coaches or general managers say about free agency and the draft at face value and Jaguars fans who remember Byron Leftwich and David Garrard know that being called the starting quarterback doesn’t mean a thing until you actually start a game at quarterback.
That said, bringing Henne back gives the Jaguars flexibility not to reach for a quarterback if they don’t feel he’s worth taking with the third pick. Blaine Gabbert is still on the roster as an example of how wishing doesn’t make it so with highly drafted quarterbacks. The Jaguars may decide that the quarterback they want will come later in the draft and need some time before he’s ready to take over, which would make giving Henne the reins of an offense he already knows an easy decision.