The Jacksonville Jaguars just committed $20 million a season to Blake Bortles and pulled out of the quarterback market in free agency.
The Jacksonville Jaguars made a run all the way to the AFC Championship game and nearly had a Super Bowl berth before running into Tom Brady doing Tom Brady things for the New England Patriots.
Bortles had a decent season leading a contending team, but he was not a quarterback capable of winning a game for the Jaguars, and there is no indication he will be in the near future. But while pundits predicted the Jaguars at least exploring some of the names on the open market, the team is doubling down on Bortles.
And it’s not simply an extension at a reasonable price tag for a player with a sub-60 percent career completion rate. It’s nearly $20 million a year.
Actually, it’s $22 million a year with incentives.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter points out the deal is a bridge, between a quarterback who is just good enough and the next potential franchise quarterback, which could suggest the Jaguars are going to be exploring quarterbacks in the next two drafts.
But it was a relatively lucrative market for quarterbacks in this year’s free agency. Kirk Cousins is available, and while Jacksonville has never been perceived as a top free agent destination quarterback is arguably the lone missing piece to a Vince Lombardi Trophy coming to northeast Florida.
Great defense with an intimidating secondary, check. Solid running back to wear down defenses and kill the clock, check. Quarterback who can make the throw when necessary to win the game, blank.
And even if they failed to nab Cousins, Case Keenum is on the market and he led the Minnesota Vikings to an NFC Championship Game appearance. Keenum completed 67 percent of his passes and threw basically half as many interceptions as Bortles and the same number of touchdowns.