Blake Bortles is not the answer at quarterback for the Jaguars, but could he be swapped out for Eli Manning?
Imagine this scenario: You’re New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese, and Tom Coughlin calls you on June 1st. The topic of conversation is Eli Manning and how much it will cost to pry him and the remaining money on his contract away from New York and bring him to Duvall County.
This one is a little tricky, but it should be one of the first options explored in replacing Blake Bortles next season. It might not be the best option, but there’s enough here that it should be considered as a quick fix.
Bortles almost lost the Jaguars a critical game on Sunday on more than one occasion, which is a recurring theme throughout his career. More often than not, Bortles is the reason the team loses, and it’s to the point now where the rest of the team is good enough that he can’t continue to act as cinder blocks strapped to the franchise’s ankles. Eli is on the wrong side of 30-years old, and has less left in the tank than some might want to admit. Still, there’s a relationship between Coughlin and Manning that could result in a reunion in Jacksonville. Even if Manning isn’t as reliable as he once was, he’s still a better option than Bortles and could be the type of game manager able to give the Jaguars stout defense the type of support it needs.
Brad Johnson and Trent Dilfer won Super Bowls. Enough said.
Manning still has two years left on his deal, but the Giants would save $16 million if they cut or traded him after June 1st. The likelihood that New York drafts Manning’s successor is very high, and the end of the era seems to be near. One way to go could be to keep Manning another year, have him mentor a young quarterback and then cut him loose without penalty in 2019.
Jacksonville would save $19 million if Blake Bortles is cut or traded after June 1st, and that’s something the team needs to do. Bortles is an anchor that is weighing down the potential of this team, and no arms need to be twisted if there’s a multi-million dollar incentive to cut him loose.
This is a win-win for two franchises that can mutually benefit from the other’s position. New York needs to rebuild and allocate Manning’s salary to a younger future, and the Jaguars (shockingly) are in a position where a third or fourth round pick can be traded away. Eli presents the Jaguars with the type of game managing needed to get the job done, and even if he’s not the answer he still bodes more confidence than Bortles ever will.