Jaguars Sign Blake Bortles Through 2020

The Jaguars look to be out of the market for a quarterback agreeing to a three-year, $54MM contract extension with Blake Bortles, which includes $26.5MM guaranteed and could reach $66.5MM in total with incentives. The team confirmed the move Saturday night (Twitter link).

“Blake’s growth and development last season was a key to the success we had as a team,” said Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin said in a team release. “Blake has proven, with toughness and dependability, that he can be the leader this team needs going forward. Along with this contract come high expectations that he will continue to improve and help our team accomplish its ultimate goal.”

ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported the terms of the deal and ESPN colleague Josina Anderson first reported that the two sides were working on a deal. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com was first to report the deal could be done as early as Saturday night.

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With the incentives in the deal, Bortles could make up to $22.5MM annually over the next three seasons. Without the incentives in place, the deal would net Bortles $18MM per year, placing him right behind Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill ($19.25MM) in average annual salary. The 49ers made Jimmy Garoppolo the highest paid player in the NFL on average annually this offseason at $27.5MM.

Bortles, 25, was already under contract with the Jaguars for 2018 and was due to make $19MM as the team picked up his fifth-year non-guaranteed option last May. But Bortles’ reported new deal will keep him in Jacksonville through 2020 and eliminates a team from a crowded group that’ll be seeking new quarterbacks this offseason.

Schefter points out that the extension gives the Jaguars a chance to see if Bortles can flourish into the player they imagined when they selected him third overall in 2014. It also gives them an extended chance to seek out other long-term options at quarterback with Bortles under contract. ESPN’s Field Yates also identified that Bortles is the first player from the 2014 draft class to receive an extension. Players such as Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham, Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald and Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack could join Bortles in that aspect in the near future.

The Jaguars made it to the AFC Championship last season with Bortles under center and were winners of the AFC South, snapping a nine-year postseason drought, but he’s dealt with consistency issues throughout his career. Bortles has started all 16 games in each of the last three seasons for the Jaguars. He threw a career-low 13 interceptions in last year’s regular season while completing a career-best 60.2% of his passes. Bortles also underwent right wrist surgery this offseason, confirming the move Saturday (Twitter link), with the injury reportedly affecting him starting in December 2016.

As for as the receiving corps Bortles will be working with, top targets Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson are both set to hit unrestricted free agency this offseason. The team still has the likes of Allen Hurns and Dede Westbrook under contract for next year, along with tight end Marcedes Lewis.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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34 comments on “Jaguars Sign Blake Bortles Through 2020

  1. Alex Graboyes

    Please let this be fake news. I hate him and i am a big jax fan. They need to release him not extend him

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    • tfence

      66.5M is the max value he can hit if he gets all the incentives…

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    • Polish Hammer

      Total of $66.5 mil WITH incentives, $54 mil without…no typo.

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      • brewcrewbernie

        It was a typo when I originally commented, they fixed it.

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  2. Chris Hernandez

    It makes a lot of sense, actually. Prove me deals with already some nice guarantees! they’re definitely drafting a QB this year.

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  3. acarneglia

    So much hate for Bortles. He’s probably better than half the starters in the league.

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    • Braves Homer

      Better than QBs on Broncos, Browns, Dolphins, Cardinals, Bears, Jets, Bills, and now Washington…that’s 8 of 32

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    • Braves Homer

      If you include Vikings that makes 9…not close to half…I’m a fan of Bortles and hope he succeeds but he’s not close to top tier at this point

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      • Doesn’t need to be top tier. Just needs to get those turnovers down and he is enough. 18 mill gets you a qb that should do enough. Let the D handle the rest.

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  4. Kev2018

    I’ll probably catch flak for this, but before/depending on his yearly salary is actually that high, I had thought it would be cool to see us resign him to a 2 or 3 yr deal loaded with signing bonus and lower yearly contract. Then we could go after cousins still this year and either let bortles watch and learn this year or trade his team friendly contract to someone like the cardinals, since he’d be more than a 1 yr rental. Wished it would be been a tad cheaper to get both!

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  5. Z-A

    Lol okay, guess they found out Kirk Cousins wasn’t an option.

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  6. 18 mil is a steal for any starting qb. Minus his rookie year he has been a statistical stud. His INTs need to come down, but he has always had more TDS than INTs. We forgetting the year he had slinging the ball in 2015?? Something is there and someone sees it. 18 is nothing to Kahn. If he earns the incentives then they got the right guy. This is genius. Can still get a qb in the draft. Tag Robinson and make him hungry to earn his next check. Already cut dead weight Ivory. By not giving Cousins 30 you save 12 to grab another piece like a Jimmy Graham. Jags still looking scary next year.

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    • mcmillankmm

      Haha yes he’s got an amazing QB rating when his team is down 21+ points

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      • Aside from this past year, the Jags as a whole have been terrible. Bortles’ struggles didn’t help but the Jags D also couldn’t stop anybody. I might be mistaken but they set the record for most points allowed in a season (or came close to it). That’s not on Bortles.

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  7. TJECK109

    The litmus test for any QB to me is simple… would you draft Bortles for your fantasy team? Me… wouldn’t use him even as a backup.

    Of course I’m being sarcastic but I always look at some of these guys like Glennon getting big pay days and like I said I wouldn’t even take him as a back up.

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  8. This isn’t even a bad deal. Everyone is seeing $54m and thinking its bad. If you look at the guaranteed money, Bortles is realistically only guaranteed for the next two seasons. He was going to make $19m next year anyway (via the fifth year option) so this deal only guarantees him an additional $7m that is either spread out throughout the life of the contract or is a partial guarantee for the second year of the contract. If Bortles sucks next year, the Jags draft a QB and keep Bortles around one more year as a bridge QB.

    In regards to getting another QB, what are the other options? Drafting a QB? Not with their first round pick and even then, it’s unlikely the rookie QB would be able to step in and lead a playoff contender. Kirk Cousins? Not at his price, the Jags will need all the cap space they can get in future seasons to keep their defensive core (plus, this deal probably lowers Bortles’ cap hit for this upcoming season so they probably have a little more room to work with). Case Keenum? Has only played well for 1 year and he might not even leave Minnesota, and I definitely don’t want to give him $20m a year. Tyrod Taylor? He’d be cheaper and doesn’t turn the ball over as much, but he’s also a worse passer so teams would dare Taylor to beat them in the air moreso than they already do with Bortles. I’ll pass on McCown and Bradford, and his injury woes, who are veteran bridge QBs at this point while McCarron is a complete unknown. My point is that the other options are either more expensive, are more of an unknown, or possibly worse than Bortles. Bortles is bad, but at least you know what you’re getting. If Bortles continues to improve on his decision making and footwork, this deal could end up being pretty good.

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  9. alxdhm32

    B.O.A.T. = The Best of All time, the Wikipedia member himself, the 2-0 champion in the Snow, the winner of the first half of the AFC championship game himself the man with a plan if there was a plan! Blake the snake Bortles!!!

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  10. bradthebluefish
    bradthebluefish

    What is up with Tom Coughlin and his affinity for mediocrity at QB.

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  11. echozulu88

    Well if your a Jags fan you can get an early start on the halftime potty break at the 2 minute warning since they’ll just knee it out

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  12. LASTSON86

    That much money for a garbage QB like Bortles is an absolute JOKE!!!!

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