The Jaguars signed quarterback Blake Bortles to a contract extension running through the 2020 season on Sunday, which ended speculation that the team will make a big splash by acquiring a veteran quarterback to supplant Bortles this offseason.
The length and structure of the deal — $26.5 million guaranteed at signing — don’t eliminate the possibility that the Jaguars will be looking to draft and develop a quarterback who could do that at some point in the not-so-distant future. That may wind up happening, but General Manager Dave Caldwell said on Wednesday that the team does not view Bortles as a stopgap until someone better comes along.
“I thought he had a nice year,” Caldwell said, via the Florida Times-Union. “The one thing I know about him is that he is mentally and physically tough as they come. For everything he has been through and all of the things people say he can’t do — he has proven that he can do it. He is not a placeholder. This wasn’t a decision where he’s going to be here for a year and we’re going to be keeping our eyes out.”
Jaguars executive vice president Tom Coughlin’s statement regarding the deal said it comes with “high expectations that [Bortles] will continue to improve and help our team accomplish its ultimate goal.” Should the 2018 season end with a feeling that the Jaguars are further away from those goals, it will be interesting to see how Coughlin, Caldwell and company view their future at the position.