C.J. Beathard

Jaguars To Acquire Mac Jones From Patriots

The Patriots have agreed to trade quarterback Mac Jones to the Jaguars, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Although the deal cannot be finalized until the new league year opens on Wednesday and until Jones passes a physical, it appears that Jones — a Jacksonville native — will try to resurrect his career in his hometown.

Schefter reported that New England and Jacksonville were discussing a sixth-round pick as trade compensation, and Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network confirms that a sixth-round choice (No. 192 overall) is the official return for Jones. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com says four teams were in the mix for the Alabama product, though Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports says that, as of yesterday, the Jags were the only club to make an offer. Albert Breer of SI.com adds that New England was seeking a fifth-rounder before ultimately settling for the sixth.

A report from late last month suggested that the Patriots had a three-step plan in place for addressing their quarterback situation this offseason, and trading Mac Jones was one of those three steps. While there was some pushback on the notion that New England had developed some sort of QB flowchart that had been distributed throughout the organization, it has seemed clear for some time that the club would seek a Jones trade, which would represent a beneficial change of scenery for both player and team. Now, the Pats can focus on adding a veteran to their roster and/or acquiring a top collegiate prospect in the draft. The most recent rumors on the draft front have indicated that if Caleb Williams and Jayden Daniels are off the board by the time New England is on the clock with the No. 3 pick, the club will trade back.

While Jones is obviously not a threat to unseat Trevor Lawrence as the Jaguars’ starting quarterback, he will have an opportunity to regain his footing while working with Lawrence — whom he has known for years, as the two frequently competed against each other in high school recruiting camps — and head coach Doug Pederson, a celebrated quarterback whisperer. Jones, the Offensive Rookie of the Year runner-up in 2021, clearly has potential that may have been stunted by the Patriots’ coaching and schematic maneuvers in 2022, and as he enters the final year of his rookie contract, Pederson & Co. will try to unlock some of that potential and at least turn Jones into a viable backup.

Another factor in the trade is the health of current backup C.J. Beathard, as ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler details. Per Fowler, Beathard has been “banged up,” so the Jones acquisition gives the Jags a healthy QB2 option. The nature and extent of Beathard’s injury is unclear, and so is his future with the club at this point, though ESPN’s Mike Reiss says Jones and Beathard are expected to compete for the backup job.

The Jaguars will still have a sixth-round compensatory choice (No. 212 overall) in the 2024 draft.

Jaguars Rule Out QB Trevor Lawrence For Week 17

Trevor Lawrence has played through knee and high ankle sprains this season, and the former No. 1 overall pick navigated concussion protocol to return last week. But the Jaguars quarterback’s iron-man start to his career will stop Sunday.

The Jags ruled out their starter for their Week 17 game against the Panthers. Lawrence is battling a sprained AC joint that forced him out of a Week 16 blowout loss to the Buccaneers. Despite the Jags’ recent swoon, they will not rush their franchise QB back to work. C.J. Beathard will take the reins against Carolina.

This comes at a crucial point for Jacksonville, which has lost its past three games to drop to 8-7 and into a three-way tie for first place in the AFC South. The losses have come after Lawrence suffered an ugly-looking injury against the Bengals, and while he made a surprising recovery in time to play through that high ankle sprain, his performance has suffered since that Monday-night sequence. The Bucs ran up a big lead on the Jags before Lawrence left the game due to his new shoulder injury.

Lawrence, 24, never missed a game due to injury at Clemson, either. The 2021 top pick missed two contests as a junior due to COVID-19. This AC joint issue will stop his 49-start streak in the NFL. Lawrence has not practiced this week. The Jags will rely on Beathard, in his third season with the team, to keep them afloat in the AFC playoff race.

While the much-hyped young talent has enjoyed moments that remind of his draft stock this season, it has not brought the breakthrough many expected. The Jaguars handing the play-calling reins to OC Press Taylor, after Doug Pederson called the shots last season, has produced a slight dip — from 10th to 13th — in both total and scoring offense. DVOA slots the Jags’ offense 15th; Lawrence ranks 13th in QBR. The 6-foot-6 signal-caller has thrown 12 interceptions and ranks third among QBs this season with 12 fumbles; he lost seven of those. Eight of Lawrence’s 19 turnovers have come in the past three games.

The Jaguars will have the opportunity to extend Lawrence in 2024, but with the fifth-year option allowing them to push his rookie contract through 2025, it is possible the team could press pause due to his rocky third season. Lawrence will still enter the 2024 season as the unquestioned Jags QB1, but the team has not taken off like many assumed it would following a late-season surge that culminated with the 27-point playoff rally.

Beathard, 30, has signed two contracts with the Jags. The Urban Meyer-year investment re-signed — on a two-year, $4.5MM deal — this offseason. The former third-round pick has not made a start since Week 17 of the 2020 season, a 273-yard showing in a narrow 49ers loss to the Seahawks. For his career, Beathard has made 12 starts; the 49ers went 2-10 in those games. He is a career 59.9% passer (6.9 yards per attempt).

Not only is Beathard now a central figure in the Jaguars’ hopes to repeat as division champions for the first time since the late 1990s, the 2-13 Panthers suddenly have a better chance to win — a development that could affect the 2024 draft order.

Trevor Lawrence To Start In Week 14

DECEMBER 10: Trending upward throughout the week, Lawrence will complete a surprisingly quick recovery effort by starting Sunday. The Jaguars will have their QB1 in the lineup against the Browns, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets. The Jags have since announced Lawrence will get the call, continuing a streak of availability to start his NFL career.

DECEMBER 8: Despite exiting Monday night’s game severely hobbled, Trevor Lawrence is firmly in play to avoid missing a game. The Jaguars quarterback, who has never missed a game during his three-year NFL career, practiced in a limited capacity for the second time this week.

Missing practice Wednesday, Lawrence moved well on his injured ankle Thursday, per Doug Pederson (via ESPN’s Michael DiRocco). The Jaguars have listed their franchise centerpiece as questionable for their Week 14 game against the Browns. Jacksonville has deemed the former No. 1 overall pick a game-time decision.

Considering the visual Monday night, Lawrence having a chance to play six days later is rather surprising. But he has played through issues before. The Clemson product returned from an October knee injury on a short week, playing with a sleeve on his sprained knee during a Thursday-night win against the Saints.

While this high ankle sprain represents a more serious threat to Lawrence’s availability, he has demonstrated early-career durability. Patrick Mahomes also showed how quickly a quarterback can return from this injury last season, when he went down against the Jaguars in the divisional round. Though, a report earlier this week detailed Lawrence’s precise injury and the uphill battle associated with it.

The Jags would start C.J. Beathard, who re-signed this offseason, should they exercise caution with Lawrence. Beathard is not on the team’s injury report after suffering a shoulder setback Monday night. The team’s three-season backup, Beathard last started a game for the 49ers in 2020.

The Week 13 loss to the Bengals dropped the Jaguars to 8-4, behind the Chiefs (due to the defending champs’ head-to-head win in Week 2) in the AFC playoff picture. Lawrence returning so soon would certainly help the team as it attempts to keep the AFC South lead and win back-to-back division titles for the first time since it claimed AFC Central crowns in 1998 and ’99. The Colts and Texans are each a game back of the Jags in the division.

Jaguars Re-Sign QB C.J. Beathard

FEBRUARY 25: A few more details have surfaced on Beathard’s new two-year deal. The two-year contract carries a total base salary of $4.5MM, Pelissero tweets. The deal also includes annual incentives of up to $1MM, giving the contract a max value of $6.5MM if Beathard can hit his incentive benchmarks.

FEBRUARY 24: C.J. Beathard joined the Jaguars before Doug Pederson, but the Urban Meyer-era investment remains in the franchise’s plans. The Jags announced Friday they reached another agreement with their backup quarterback.

This is a two-year deal, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Beathard, who signed with the team in 2021, was set to be a free agent. The former 49ers third-round pick will be expected to remain Trevor Lawrence‘s backup going forward. Beathard, 29, played out a two-year, $5MM contract in 2022.

Lawrence has not missed a start since being the 2021 No. 1 overall pick, keeping Beathard on the bench except for games requiring mop-up work. Beathard saw more action with the 49ers, who drafted him shortly after Trent Baalke‘s ouster as GM. Baalke was in place with the Jags when they drafted Beathard; Baalke and Pederson have liked what they’ve seen from the Iowa alum in his QB2 role.

Chosen 104th overall in 2017, Beathard is 2-10 as a starter. Upon taking over a rebuild in San Francisco, Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch did not acquire a long-term QB ahead of their first season. This left Beathard and Brian Hoyer as the notable arms. But the 49ers benched the veteran and started Beathard in October 2017. Shortly after, they traded for Jimmy Garoppolo. The ex-Patriots backup, however, did not debut immediately for his new team. That left Beathard at the controls during Garoppolo’s first weeks in the Bay Area. Beathard, the grandson of Hall of Fame GM Bobby Beathard, quarterbacked Shanahan’s first win — a November 2017 victory against the Giants.

In 25 appearances over the past six seasons, Beathard has completed 58.8% of his passes at 6.9 yards per attempt. His select starts with San Francisco notwithstanding, the former Big Ten QB1 has not factored into any starter conversations. But the Jags will continue to keep him onboard during Lawrence’s rookie contract.

AFC South Notes: Colts, Radunz, Jaguars

Darius Leonard underwent back surgery recently; the rehab effort may prevent the All-Pro Colts linebacker from beginning training camp on time. More clarity emerged on the injury. Leonard played through an ankle problem last season, and ex-Colts punter-turned-radio host Pat McAfee said recently (via Joel Erickson of the Indianapolis Star) a nerve issue in Leonard’s back caused the ankle trouble. More specifically, Leonard’s ankle injury lingered because of a calf issue Erickson tweets was caused by the back problem. The aforementioned nerve issue prevented Leonard’s calf from full functionality. Leonard still played 91% of Indianapolis’ defensive snaps last season and, boosted by a career-high eight forced fumbles, earned his third first-team All-Pro nod. Despite this complex issue leading to back surgery, the Colts are still expecting Leonard to return near the start of camp, per Erickson.

Here is the latest from the AFC South:

  • Previously mentioned as a potential left guard option, Titans 2021 second-round pick Dillon Radunz is now concentrating on the right tackle battle. With Radunz and rookie third-rounder Nicholas Petit-Frere matching up outside, Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com notes former UDFA Aaron Brewer and ex-Seahawks backup Jamarco Jones are vying for the left guard gig (Twitter link). The Titans must replace cap casualty Rodger Saffold and free agency defection David Quessenberry — their latest right tackle stopgap — up front this year. Both 2021 starters are with the Bills now.
  • The groin injury Jaguars backup quarterback C.J. Beathard sustained is not expected to keep him out of training camp, Doug Pederson said. But the Jags received worse injury news on another front. Linebacker Jordan Smith will miss the season with a knee injury. A 2021 fourth-round pick, Smith played in two games last season.
  • Shifting back to the Colts, Morocco Brown‘s promotion will be from college scouting director to chief personnel executive, the Indianapolis Star’s Nate Atkins notes. Brown interviewed for the Steelers’ GM job and the Eagles’ assistant GM job this offseason. This will be his sixth year with the Colts. Matt Terpening will take over as Indy’s college scouting director, with area scout Jamie Moore rising to the assistant college scouting director post Terpening held for the past six years. Terpening has been with the Colts for 22 years.
  • Additionally, the Colts are naming Kasia Omilian as an NFS scout. Omilian, who will be identifying players for future drafts, becomes the first woman to hold a scouting title with the Colts, Mike Chappell of Fox 59 notes. Omilian has been with the team since 2019. Mike Lacy will rise from the NFS scout level to be an area scout for the team.

Injury Notes: Beathard, Glasgow, Jones, Texans, Bengals

The Jaguars number-two QB went down with an injury yesterday. C.J. Beathard was carted off the field during OTAs, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). According to the reporter, Beathard suffered a groin injury, and an impending MRI will reveal the extent of the injury.

The former third-round pick spent the first four years of his career with the 49ers. Beathard went 2-10 as a starter, completing 58.6 percent of his passes for 3,469 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. He signed a two-year, $5MM deal with the Jaguars last offseason, and he got into two games as Trevor Lawrence‘s backup, completing his pair of pass attempts.

If Beathard is forced to miss an extended amount of time, the Jaguars will likely turn to Jake Luton or rookie EJ Perry as Lawrence’s primary backup.

More injury news from around the NFL…

  • Broncos lineman Graham Glasgow broke his ankle last November, but the veteran is back at practice and is competing to regain his starting spot. “I’m no stranger to competition,’’ Glasgow said (via Mike Klis of 9News in Denver). “I’ve competed in the past and I’ve competed for starting jobs in the past. This whole offseason, I’ve been competing with myself to get better in my rehab stuff. If I’m healthy, I’m just going to go out there and do what I can and do what I do. We’ll see what comes out of that.” The 29-year-old guard/center has started 78 of his 82 career games, but Klis notes that Quinn Meinerz and/0r Netane Muti could push him for a starting gig.
  • Daniel Jones is apparently over his neck injury. Giants head coach Brian Daboll told reporters that if the season started today, then the Giants starting QB would be fully cleared to play (per Dan Duggan of The Athletic on Twitter). After going 4-7 in his 11 starts, Jones missed the final six games of the 2021 campaign with a neck injury. Despite his struggles, the former sixth-overall pick is expected to keep his starting gig in 2022, although the organization did bring in veteran Tyrod Taylor as competition.
  • Texans wideout DaeSean Hamilton is set to have knee surgery tomorrow, reports Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com (on Twitter). The receiver suffered the injury during a non-contact drill, but he didn’t tear his ACL and is expected to make a full recovery at some point during the regular season. Hamilton was a fourth-round pick by the Broncos in 2018, and he only missed a pair of games through his first three seasons. He missed the entire 2021 season with a torn ACL, and he caught on with the Texans back in March. The 27-year-old has 81 receptions in 46 games.
  • Bengals defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin suffered a wrist injury that will shut him down for the rest of the offseason program, per the team’s website. Coach Zac Taylor told reporters that the former fourth-round pick avoided a serious injury, but the player still needed to go under the knife to repair the ailment. Shelvin got into three games as a rookie, collecting four tackles.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 1/13/22

Today’s updates for the reserve/COVID-19 and practice squad/COVID-19 lists:

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Jacksonville Jaguars

New Orleans Saints

Pittsburgh Steelers

Washington Football Team

Latest On Jaguars’ Gardner Minshew, C.J. Beathard

C.J. Beathard‘s new Jaguars deal includes $2.75MM in guaranteed money, as NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets. As Rapoport notes, it’s a strong indicator that the quarterback will make the Jaguars’ final 53-man cut. By the same token, it’s a sign that one-time rising star Gardner Minshew won’t be on the roster.

Of course, the Jaguars are expected to draft Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 overall pick. Up until the Beathard signing, there was at least a chance of Minshew staying on board as the bridge/QB2 for the Clemson star. That spot now seems reserved for Beathard, so the Jaguars will probably start taking those Minshew trade inquiries seriously. Just last week, head coach Urban Meyer said that he wasn’t looking to move the Washington State product.

At this point, no,” Meyer said. “At this point, I know Gardner a little bit. He came in yesterday. We had a good visit. That’s the second time I’ve spent time with him. This is all kind of new to me. I’m used to spending about five, six hours a day with our quarterbacks — that’s January, February, to get your quarterback ready to go, and you can’t do that in the NFL.”

Despite 2020’s struggles, Minshew is just one year removed from setting franchise records in yards (3,271) and touchdowns (21) for rookie QBs. He’s still on that rookie deal, so any team acquiring him would have him at bargain-basement salaries of $850K and $965K.

Jaguars To Sign C.J. Beathard

The Jaguars won’t get Trevor Lawrence until next month, but they’re adding to the quarterback room in the meantime. Jacksonville is expected to sign C.J. Beathard, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). It’s a two-year pact worth $5MM with additional incentives available, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network tweets.

Beathard was originally drafted by the 49ers in the third-round back in 2017, and has spent the past four years in San Francisco. He started five games as a rookie, another five in 2018, none in 2019, and another two this past year due to various benchings and injuries. The Iowa product is 291/497 for 3,469 yards (7.0 YPA), 18 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in his career.

Not terrible numbers for a backup, although some would argue they’re the product more of a Kyle Shanahan system than anything else. We’ve heard that current Jags passer Gardner Minshew is drawing trade interest, so this move could be a precursor to a deal there. Funnily enough the 49ers have been linked to Minshew, so they could end up just swapping places.

New Jaguars coach Urban Meyer did say recently the team wasn’t shopping Minshew “at this point.” The 49ers had discussions about Beathard over the years, and apparently could’ve gotten a sixth-rounder for him around the 2019 deadline. Besides Minshew the Jaguars also have 2020 sixth-round pick Jake Luton, who started three games last year, on the roster.

49ers To Shut Down Raheem Mostert, Deebo Samuel; George Kittle Return In Play

Raheem Mostert and Deebo Samuel will see their injury-marred seasons end early. The 49ers are shutting down both players with two games to go, Kyle Shanahan said (via the San Jose Mercury News’ Cam Inman).

Both ran into multiple injuries this year, causing the second-year starters to miss significant time in what became a widespread injury-plagued 49ers season. Each player is under contract beyond this season, with Samuel’s rookie deal running through 2022 and Mostert’s pact expiring after next season.

The 49ers, however, are not opting to shut down all their injured skill-position talents. George Kittle has returned to practice, and Inman notes the All-Pro tight end is on pace to return against the Cardinals. Kittle, who has not played since suffering a foot fracture Nov. 1, would catch passes from his former college quarterback if he does return. The 49ers will start Iowa alum C.J. Beathard over Nick Mullens on Saturday.

A 2017 third-round pick, Beathard has worked as San Francisco’s third-string quarterback for much of his NFL tenure. His contract expires at season’s end. Mullens suffered what is believed to be ligament damage in his elbow against the Cowboys, Inman notes, and will likely need Tommy John surgery. He is due to be a restricted free agent in March.

Kittle will only play if he’s 100%, per Shanahan, who noted the 49ers will not shut down their star tight end if he is fully healthy — despite having been eliminated from playoff contention last week.

Mostert left Sunday’s game because of ankle trouble. The special-teamer-turned-RB1 sustained an MCL sprain in September and injured his ankle upon returning in October. Mostert, 28, was not able to surmount the latter malady. Mostert did end a second straight season averaging at least 5.0 yards per carry, however, though he only managed 104 totes this season. Samuel sustained a foot fracture before training camp but was able to return fairly early in the season. However, a hamstring injury hampered Samuel shortly after he returned. The 2019 second-round pick caught 33 passes for 391 yards over seven games this season.

Jimmy Garoppolo will resume practicing this week, but Shanahan said (via Inman) he would be surprised if doctors deem San Francisco’s QB1 100%. It is likely Beathard will handle the 49ers’ final two starts at quarterback. A high ankle sprain sidelined Garoppolo at multiple junctures this season. He played in just six games. Shanahan said last month the plan is for Garoppolo to return as the team’s starter in 2021, though the franchise will surely explore other options this offseason. Two years remain on Garoppolo’s contract, one the 49ers can move without incurring much dead money.