Report: Jaguars ‘actively’ exploring their QB options

Jan 14, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) prepares to throw the ball during the first quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Immediately after the upstart Jacksonville Jaguars lost a close affair to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game, it was reported that the team had already committed to Blake Bortles as their starting quarterback for the 2018 campaign.

Not so fast.

According to this report from Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, that might not be the case.

“Per a league source with knowledge of the situation, the Jaguars currently are exploring their options, actively,” Florio reported Friday evening.

It’s a somewhat tricky situation for Jacksonville. The team can’t have any negotiations with impending free agent signal callers until next month. The Jaguars had previously picked up the fifth-year option on Bortles’ rookie contract, which will guarantee him $19 million for the 2018 campaign once the new league year starts. That’s the same time they can actually add a free agent quarterback.

Among those potentially bandied about internally, only Kirk Cousins and Case Keenum would be seen as realistic upgrades over Bortles. Then again, Jacksonville could very well put in a call to Philadelphia about reigning Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles.

Bortles, 25, put up the best performance of an otherwise up-and-down career in 2017. He completed north of 60 percent of his passes for 3,687 yards with 21 touchdowns and 13 interceptions en route to leading Jacksonville to a surprise AFC South title. He also threw three touchdowns compared to zero picks in three postseason starts.

Don’t expect the Jaguars to move on from Bortles unless they can guarantee an upgrade at quarterback. At this point, it’s still highly unlikely that’s going to be the case.