The Jaguars have a window of opportunity to attempt to negotiate a new deal with a free-agent quarterback before the window closes on severing ties with Blake Bortles. Per a league source with knowledge of the situation, the Jaguars currently are exploring their options, actively.
While the tampering rules prohibit direct communications with agents who represent looming free agents, tampering has become a normal business practice for all teams as free agency approaches. The process already has begun as it relates to Jacksonville’s effort to upgrade at the quarterback position, and it likely will continue — if not accelerate — next week at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
Available free agents include Kirk Cousins, Case Keenum, A.J. McCarron, Sam Bradford, Teddy Bridgewater, and Josh McCown. (And, yes, Drew Brees; he’s the best available free-agent quarterback, but he has said repeatedly he’s staying with the Saints.)
Bortles is under contract for 2018 at a fifth-year option amount of $19 million. The payment becomes fully guaranteed on the first day of the league year. The sole caveat comes from wrist surgery Bortles had after the team’s playoff run ended. If he can’t pass a physical before March 14, he can’t be released before his salary (guaranteed for injury only for now) becomes fully guaranteed.
For more on the situation, plus several other topics, check out Friday’s PFT PM podcast.