Members of the Jaguars brass were asked about their option on quarterback Blake Bortles‘ contract for the 2018 season several times this offseason and avoided making any public declarations about their plans.
That changed on Monday and their decision will likely come as a surprise to some people. The team announced that they have picked up the option, which would set him up to make around $18 million next season.
“This is a smart business decision for the team for several reasons,” Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin said in a release from the team. “It makes sense for us going forward and it’s good for Blake and for the Jaguars.”
The option is guaranteed against injury only, so the Jaguars could still decline it if they decide after the 2017 season that Bortles’ isn’t the right man to run their offense. That’s not so different from the position they were in with Bortles before picking up the option, although the injury guarantee could complicate things if Bortles should suffer a torn ACL, torn Achilles or other long-term injury.
If things do work out, the Jaguars can work on an extension that locks Bortles up beyond 2018. If not, they’ll be in the market for a quarterback after choosing not to add one during the draft this year.