After agreeing to sign Nick Foles, the Jaguars have released Blake Bortles, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network first reported several days ago that Bortles would be cut (Twitter link). Pro Football Talk tweets that Bortles will not be designated as a post-June 1 cut, which means the Jags will absorb a $16.5MM cap charge this season. However, short-term pain will give way to long-term gain, as Bortles will be completely off the books by 2020. That season, the Jaguars will also get cap credit (up to $6.5MM) based on the quarterback’s 2019 earnings (via Florio).
The third overall pick of the 2014 draft, Bortles never lived up to his draft status. Bortles appeared to be on the ropes several times in Jacksonville, but he managed to battle back each time. After nearly being benched for Chad Henne before the season, he led the Jaguars to a shocking level of success in 2017, and helped them reach the AFC Championship Game. In response, the team awarded him a three-year, $54MM extension.
But Bortles collapsed this past year, and he was eventually benched for Cody Kessler, although he did reclaim the starting job at the very end of the season. In 13 games and 12 starts last year, Bortles threw for 2,718 yards, 13 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. He will likely have to settle for a backup role this offseason wherever he lands.