The Jacksonville Jaguars used the No. 3 overall pick in 2014 to draft Blake Bortles, but it’s clear now he’s not a franchise quarterback. Quite the opposite, in fact. The former UCF star broke out in 2015 only to take a significant step back last season. Now he’s a broken thing if Thursday night’s preseason game is any indication.
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone made it clear following the team’s Week 2 game that the quarterback competition was wide open.
But as noted by Ryan O’Halloran of The Florida Times-Union, there really is no competition at this point. Henne is quite obviously the team’s best option right now, unless the Jags bring in a guy like Colin Kaepernick, as we’ve proposed in the past.
On that note, O’Halloran believes the Jaguars must not play Bortles any more this preseason. If he gets injured the team could be on the hook for $19 million, which is guaranteed for injury next year.
But could the team take it a step further?
“They can’t take the risk of Bortles sustaining an injury that puts them on the hook for next year’s $19 million salary (guaranteed only for injury),” O’Halloran wrote. “It would make perfect sense for the Jaguars to cut Bortles. His 2017 salary is guaranteed but that would create a roster spot for an extra player or for a third quarterback they can use the season to look at in practice. What a rapid fall for No. 5.”
Bortles is about as confident as a field mouse right now. He couldn’t hit a wide-open Allen Robinson on multiple occasions against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and his mechanics are shot. He’s thrown 51 interceptions in 46 career games. And much of his production has come at the end of games when the Jags were already beaten — garbage time, as they say.
Maybe at some point, on a different team after spending time on the bench, Bortles will turn into a competent starting quarterback.
But he clearly is not one now.
The Jaguars have all the other pieces to make a playoff run. Bortles is the thing holding them back the most. It’s time to make the tough call. It’s time to move on.
It’s time to cut Blake Bortles.