Dave Caldwell: Blake Bortles isn’t a placeholder

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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.

22 responses to “Dave Caldwell: Blake Bortles isn’t a placeholder

  1. He should be. They will miss the playoffs this year with Watson and potentially healthy Luck back. Another year wasted with a championship defense.

  2. Caldwell hasn’t done Beetle Brows any favors? I guess someone else drafted Leonard Fournette and Cam Robinson and signed all the expensive free agents over the past couple years.

  3. I sure hope for the Jag’s sake this is some PR bs, because Bortles is no franchise QB. He’s got the slowest release of anybody else in the league (except for maybe Case Keenum)

  4. realdealsteel says:
    February 28, 2018 at 6:42 pm

    If I were a Jags fan, signing Bortles tells me you are not serious about winning a Super Bowl when Cousins is available.

    _____________________________________________________________________

    Its looking more and more likely that Cousins is gonna want 30+ mil, that would have left the jags with almost no cap space and no money to sign Robinson and a guard which they need.

  5. Going into the locker room at halftime with 55 seconds and 2 TO left tells you what you need to know regarding the coaching staff’s confidence in Bortles.

    They don’t trust him not to blow it when the other team knows they have to throw. Either they start to trust him or he’s a placeholder.

  6. I know people love to bash Bortles, but as a Jag fan who’s seen every game he’s played, I would say he’s way underrated. Sure, I’d love to have Kirk Cousins, but not at $30 million per year and not at the cost of losing some of our core players. Bortles got us to within a play or two of getting to the Super Bowl, so I’m okay with him. For gosh sakes, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are not available.

  7. There are many ways to look at this…sure, Bortles is not a star but he bridges the gap from the present to when he could be a pretty good QB or to when his replacement is a pretty good QB. As to whether he’s a placeholder, of course he is, nearly all QB’s are.

    Cousins, Brees, et al, would cripple the cap, read marty2020’s quality post above. The Jaguars did the right thing and have set themselves up for several AFC South runs and entries into the SB tournament. Succeed or fail, Bortles’ contract will not hamstring the franchise.

  8. I swear that some of the commenters on Bortles don’t know if a football is blown up or stuffed.
    They go to the AFC Championship with Bortles (knocking off the Steelers twice along the way), and likely would have won it with better coaching, and some people want to get rid of Bortles?!
    Not only that, he apparently played the season with a bum shoulder that required surgery, which he has already resumed throwing from. Just don’t get some of the hate for Bortles out there?

  9. eagleswin says:
    February 28, 2018 at 10:11 pm
    Going into the locker room at halftime with 55 seconds and 2 TO left tells you what you need to know regarding the coaching staff’s confidence in Bortles.

    They don’t trust him not to blow it when the other team knows they have to throw. Either they start to trust him or he’s a placeholder.

    Maybe, they should’ve trusted him…

  10. Bortles is an average QB who can’t throw the ball very well at all for slant routes or chuck the long ball. Nice fades and a good runner. But the offseason surgery might be just what he needed. Get some offensive linemen, and get our receivers healthy, then it’s game on. This move was so they didn’t break the bank on a QB and keeping someone who knows the system and may just get better. His decision making is unbelievably bad, but if the coaches can put him in good positions and he learns to read defenses, this could be a good move. Hoping…..

  11. Cousins is available? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! yea, that’s just what the Jags need to win a Super Bowl, Kirk Cousins? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  12. I would like to ask this specific question to Caldwell:

    Your coach had the ball at the 25 yard line with a minute to play in the first half in the AFC Championship game and did not try to score- opting to run out a FULL MINUTE of clock with kneel downs rather than risk a turnover. What is it about Blake Bortles that makes you have so much more confidence in him than your own coach appears to have?

  13. jff27 says:
    March 1, 2018 at 9:19 am
    eagleswin says:
    February 28, 2018 at 10:11 pm
    Going into the locker room at halftime with 55 seconds and 2 TO left tells you what you need to know regarding the coaching staff’s confidence in Bortles.

    They don’t trust him not to blow it when the other team knows they have to throw. Either they start to trust him or he’s a placeholder.

    Maybe, they should’ve trusted him…

    —————————-

    I agree. It certainly is a bad look on the coaching staff. You can’t blame the QB in that situation because he didn’t get the chance but it does show you how little faith they have in Bortles.

    You pay your QB to step up in those situations or he’s a placeholder.

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