Jaguars GM: Blake Bortles ‘not a place-holder’

The Jacksonville Jaguars recently signed quarterback Blake Bortles to a two-year contract extension. The beauty of the extension is that it gives the Jags a fairly simple out if Bortles fails to build upon a nice 2017 campaign. But that’s not what the organization is planning on.

Speaking at the NFL Scouting Combine, Jacksonville general manager Dave Caldwell made it clear that Bortles is the organization’s quarterback of the future.

“He is not a place-holder,” Caldwell said, per Ryan O’Halloran of Jacksonville.com. “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.”

Bortles completed a career high 60.2 percent of his passes in 2017 for 3,687 yards with 21 touchdowns and a career low 13 picks. He helped the Jaguars make the playoffs for the first time in a decade. He also played well in Jacksonville’s Divisional Round upset over the Pittsburgh Steelers, and in the narrow AFC Championship Game defeat to the New England Patriots.

Bortles will also be 26 in April. So, if he continues to improve on 2017’s season, the Jags could have a good quarterback for quite some time. If that doesn’t happen, Jacksonville would be far from the first franchise to change its plans under center.