Three-year deal for Bortles gives Jaguars the flexibility to draft and develop a young quarterback

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The Jaguars did their due diligence, and they ultimately decided to do a deal with the guy they drafted four years ago. On the surface, it was nearly as surprising that the Jaguars signed Blake Bortles to a new three-year contract as it was when they made him the third overall pick in 2014.

On closer inspection, it’s a reasonable contract, at $18 million per year. More importantly, the duration is sufficiently short to give the team options in this draft, or the next.

Let’s say, for instance, Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson is available at No. 29. The Jaguars could draft him and stash him, knowing that with the fifth-year option, they can keep him through 2022.

So maybe Jackson sits for a year. Maybe two. Maybe three, like Aaron Rodgers once did. Either way, the Jaguars will have a chance to let Jackson (or whoever they’d draft in that spot) develop slowly while Bortles tries to finish the job he unexpectedly started last year.

If the Jaguars don’t add a youngster in 2018, they can do it in 2019, when Bortles has only two years left on his contract.

However it plays out, the short-term nature and relatively low base value of the Bortles deal gives the Jaguars a way to balance the effort to win now against an opportunity to win later, all while leaving enough cash and cap space around to keep great young players with the team for years to come.

14 responses to “Three-year deal for Bortles gives Jaguars the flexibility to draft and develop a young quarterback

  1. I agree that this gives the Jags flexibility. Obviously, they don’t think the soon-to-be free agent QBs would be a substantial upgrade while risking issues related to a lack of continuity. It seems like a lot of Jags fans are sour over this move based on comments on the other articles. I think they should let free agency and the draft unfold before they critique the move. I was thinking the same thing draft a young QB if one worth taking is there. Maybe make a big free agent signing or a trade to get an instant impact veteran player. This team is good already, and the defense will probably gel more together and be even better. This team is solid as of right now.

  2. Only 24 million is guaranteed, that is just enough to pay someone like Andy Dalton or Joe Flacco for one year. That means the Jaguars can cut him after one year if he flops, and try to sign a free agent, such as Nick Foles, who will become a free agent in 2019.

  3. If you think Lamar Jackson is going in the first round, you need to watch some college football. The guy can’t read a MAC defense – it’s one read and dash. He has no shot at being an NFL QB. Zero.

  4. Might as well, outside of a few games, he looks to have turned the corner. Can’t believe he settled for $18 million. Not too bright.

  5. Let’s not forget Bortles is the most durable QB in the division as well. The division is easily theirs for the foreseeable future to be honest.

  6. Terrible move.
    Bortles is not very good, and is being over paid.
    I’d rather draft a QB than over pay Bortles.
    Or look to sign a FA QB.

    The only out is they can cut him after this year and eat 7MM, so maybe its not too terrible.

    They would have been better off just keeping him this year (or not) and drafting a QB or signing one.

  7. What this also allows, is the team to draft a guy and if the guy blows everyone out of the water, to keep Bortles as the back up, cut him, trade, etc.

  8. I always look at HIND SIGHT nitpicking of draft picks w humor. How was it surprising they took Bortles 3rd overall? They needed a franchise QB and they were in position to take one. It was Bortles, Bridgewater, Manziel, Carr, Garoppolo, McCarron… If my memory serves me correct, this was almost a no brainer & they would’ve been chastised even more not making the selection.

    OT Robinson to the Rams was a no brainer but simply didn’t pan out. Leading up to the draft, players are widey regarded as the next great thing & sure fire picks, but a few years down the road, this seems to be forgotten & teams are ridiculed for highly regarded picks they should have known wouldn’t work out. I don’t understand people who do this ridiculing. No one knows who will & won’t pan out. The Raiders selection of OT Robert Gallery is one of the best examples. Universally thought of as THE SAFEST PICK IN THE DRAFT, he didn’t work out, so the “experts”, IN HIND SIGHT, discussed how big of a bust & wasted selection he was. Just so odd to me. Bortles was the right pick for the Jags when they took him & it was remotely close to surprising.

  9. I meant it was NOT remotely close to surprising in my last sentence (no edit available). I will say, although this site gets into opinion more than I prefer, PFT is THE BEST source for football news anywhere (and I’ve been reading almost every word from the beginning).

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