AFC Notes: Jags, Luck, Fins, Broncos

The Jaguars’ questionable offseason decision to pick up quarterback Blake Bortles‘ fifth-year option for 2018 isn’t the first time they’ve exercised “tunnel vision” with a young player, Bill Barnwell of observes. For instance, Barnwell regards the Jags’ call last summer to extend wide receiver Allen Hurns on a four-year, $40.7MM pact as unnecessary, as he was due to make just $600K in 2016 and would have been controllable for a $3.9MM first-round tender as a restricted free agent this season. Hurns went on to post disappointing production last year (35 catches on 76 targets, 477 yards, three touchdowns in 11 games) and is no longer one of the Jaguars’ top two receivers. Barnwell also opines that the five-year, $51.7MM extension the Jaguars handed center Brandon Linder in July isn’t any more appealing than the deal they gave Hurns.

As for Bortles, who’s behind uninspiring veteran Chad Henne in the team’s QB derby and could be on the outs if he loses the battle, the Jaguars should have made an effort to find another signal-caller in the offseason if they weren’t entirely sold on him, Barnwell opines. However, instead of courting the likes of Tony Romo, Jay Cutler or Brian Hoyer, among others, they just re-signed Henne. Now, with pickings under center looking especially slim, Barnwell suggests the Jaguars pursue Brock Osweiler if the Browns move on from him.

More from the AFC:

  • The odds of Colts quarterback Andrew Luck missing the team’s season opener against the Rams on Sept. 10 continue to increase, Mike Wells of writes. Luck, who underwent right shoulder surgery in January, remains on the active/physically unable to perform list with fewer than 10 practices left until Week 1. Head coach Chuck Pagano said Tuesday that there “no timetable” for Luck to return, leaving the team with the less-than-stellar Scott Tolzien as its No. 1 option under center as long as its prized starter is on the shelf.
  • The presence of wide receiver DeVante Parker is among the reasons the Dolphins haven’t gotten serious about a long-term extension for fellow wideout Jarvis Landry, Ian Rapoport of tweets. More progress from Parker in 2017, the third season of his career, could mitigate the damage of Landry’s departure. Landry is due to become a free agent after the season, meaning he could exit, though the Dolphins may just place the franchise tag on the slot dynamo if they’re wary of committing to him for the long haul. Parker is under club control for up to three more seasons, depending on whether the Dolphins exercise the 2015 first-round pick’s fifth-year option for 2019, and is coming off a sophomore campaign in which he racked up 56 receptions, 744 yards and four touchdowns.
  • Broncos running back Devontae Booker‘s wrist injury will keep him out for the first two to three weeks of the regular season, head coach Vance Joseph told reporters, including Nick Kosmider of the Denver Post, on Thursday. The team doesn’t believe that’s a long enough absence to justify placing Booker on the reserve/PUP list and losing him for the first six games of the season, so he’ll occupy a spot on the Broncos’ 53-man roster while he’s continuing to recover. That decision could affect their other backs, of course, as C.J. Anderson and Booker may be the only locks at the position. Jamaal Charles is the biggest name in their backfield, and the longtime Chief/recent injury case will see his first preseason action Saturday. Onetime 1,000-yard rusher Stevan Ridley, fourth-year man Juwan Thompson and sixth-round rookie De’Angelo Henderson are also vying for roles.
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