The Jaguars will consider jettisoning quarterback Blake Bortles if he doesn’t win the starting job over the favorite, Chad Henne, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com says (video link). Jacksonville may attempt to trade Bortles, though Rapoport notes that he’d likely need to rework his contract to make that a possibility, or simply cut him. If they do get rid of Bortles, the Jaguars could turn to 2016 sixth-round pick Brandon Allen as Henne’s backup, Rapoport suggests.
Jacksonville would be averse to retaining Bortles as a reserve because of his non-guaranteed fifth-year option for 2018. That option, worth upward of $19MM, will trigger if Bortles suffers a serious injury this season and is unable to pass a physical next March. The Redskins were in a similar situation when they kept the beleaguered Robert Griffin III around during his fifth-year option season in 2015, but that was at the insistence of owner Daniel Snyder, per Rapoport, who reports that Bortles doesn’t have that type of backing from the Jaguars’ Shad Khan.
The 25-year-old Bortles, like Griffin, joined his team as an extremely high pick. The Jaguars invested the third selection in 2014 on Bortles, who showed flashes during a 35-touchdown second season, but he underwhelmed in his other two years and has been especially woeful this summer. He’s therefore likely to lose the starting job to the 32-year-old Henne, who has a lackluster resume of his own across nine seasons, and perhaps his roster spot.
Cutting Bortles would cost Jacksonville $6.57MM and save the team no money this year, but at least the Jags would escape the potentially catastrophic scenario of having to dedicate $19MM-plus in cap space to him in 2018.
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