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Dave Caldwell says Blake Bortles’ option makes business sense

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The Jaguars surprised some people when they picked up the $19 million option on Blake Bortles for the 2018 season. But General Manager Dave Caldwell says the deal made sense.

Caldwell said on PFT Live that in today’s NFL, $19 million is really not a lot of money for a quarterback. And if Bortles has a breakout season in 2017, paying him $19 million in 2018 would be a bargain relative to what they would have to pay him if they put the franchise tender on him.

“I think that slots him as the 16th highest quarterback next year, right around the median,” Caldwell said. “If he was to get the franchise tender that puts him at the third or fourth or fifth ranked quarterback depending on who gets new deals next year.”

Knowing the Jaguars won’t have to use the franchise tag on Bortles also frees them up to use it on another player, such as receiver Allen Robinson, who was the Jaguars’ second-round pick the year they took Bortles in the first round and whose rookie contract is up after this season.

As Bortles is still in the fourth year of his rookie contract, the Jaguars are still getting him at a much more affordable price than most teams are paying for their starting quarterbacks.

“We look at two-year values on our contracts,” Caldwell said. “I think this year he’s scheduled to make about $3.2 million in cash, and then the $19 million next year is just a little over $22 million, it’s a two-year, $11 million average on what is considered a new deal, and that puts him not in the Top 16 of quarterbacks.”

The down side is that if Bortles gets hurt this year and can’t pass a physical in 2018, the Jaguars are on the hook for that $19 million salary. But the Jaguars are willing to take that risk.

“We take on the injury risk, but we look at the value total of the deal and we feel comfortable about the financials of it,” Caldwell said.

Only time will tell whether the Jaguars still feel comfortable about having Bortles as their quarterback in eight months.

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14 Responses to “Dave Caldwell says Blake Bortles’ option makes business sense”
  1. brandonj21 says: May 4, 2017 8:39 AM

    The Jags suck , Bortles sucks . The whole team is trash outside of Allen Robinson. I told you when you drafted him , that he was a bust . It doesn’t make football sense. Enjoy 4th place in the division again suckers !! Flake Bortles is trash !!

  2. lukedunphysscienceproject says: May 4, 2017 8:49 AM

    It does make sense. It’s only guaranteed for injury. If he stinks next season, they can still get rid of him and not pay him the $19m.

    It’s the exact same situation the Redskins faced with RGIII. They picked up his option but released him before the 2016 season.

  3. dave_bords says: May 4, 2017 9:16 AM

    Perhaps the best explanation a NFL team has provided for a decision. Not saying it was a good or bad decision, but this is how an organization should keep it’s fans in the loop. Bravo JAX.

  4. jaxcliff says: May 4, 2017 9:29 AM

    Anyone who thinks taking the fifth-year option on Bortles was a bad idea doesn’t understand how the fifth-year option works. It’s almost 100% in favor of the team’s interests, with little to no obligation to actually pay him for that fifth year if he doesn’t pay better than last year.

  5. pastabelly says: May 4, 2017 10:26 AM

    This means that once the Jags are eliminated (some time in November), Bortles will never see the field as they won’t risk the injury payment of $19 million.

  6. pj1983a says: May 4, 2017 10:26 AM

    Given the scarcity of even mediocre QB’s around the league and the absurd contracts some guys are getting, I’d say the Jags are making the right move. The only way you don’t pick up Bottles’ option is if you’re absolutely sure you have a better option already on the team. And they don’t.

  7. tonebones says: May 4, 2017 10:31 AM

    Good QBs are hard to come by, and Bortles has shown that he could become a good QB. He’s still relatively young. Great QBs are even harder to come by. You don’t get rid of a good QB until you have a great QB. History has shown where teams gave up on young QBs (Steve Young, Brett Favre), only to see them develop into HOFers. When Favre was in Atlanta, and Young was in Tampa, their fans would have laughed at the notion that these two guys could turn into HOFers. Bortles has shown enough ability to give him every opportunity.

  8. edavidberg says: May 4, 2017 11:25 AM

    Bortles is really bad. The Jags should have grabbed Peterman when he slipped. Bortles has stayed healthy so exercising the option isn’t a killer but I’ll be surprised if he plays well enough to be a Jag next year.

  9. silvernblacksabbath says: May 4, 2017 11:56 AM

    Starting Bortles ensures a top 5 draft pick the following year.. That is all!

  10. DugoutDirtbag says: May 4, 2017 12:03 PM

    I would’ve tried working a team friendly deal myself.

    I get the sense the Jags GM never played poker

  11. QB Film Room says: May 4, 2017 12:04 PM

    caldwell, you should be the next John Idzik, absolutely no talent as football evaluator at least on offense…

  12. purpleguy says: May 4, 2017 12:17 PM

    Prob a good move, but I bet the Vegas odds on him being dumped before he can earn that $19M are 2-1.

  13. bobthebillsfan says: May 4, 2017 3:14 PM

    This situation reminds me of my first car. I had high hopes, but it kept needing repairs. I always wondered if I would get from point A to point B without a disappointment. After a while, it got to the point that I did one last repair to it and said the next time I’m done with it. I think that is where the Jags are now.

  14. whenwilliteverend says: May 4, 2017 8:58 PM

    If the prospect of being cut if he plays like crap this year (again) doesn’t motivate him then he may be lucky to get $3.2M next year from any team.

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