By Christian Coppola
After all the criticism in the 2017 season, Blake Bortles ends up with a new contract. It seems to be that the Jaguars are happy with the way their franchise is heading right now after resigning four major pieces of their franchise the past 3 days (Caldwell, Coughlin, Marrone, and Bortles). As of mid-day yesterday the Jaguars extended Blake Bortles to a 3 year deal worth $54 million, $26.5 million guaranteed, and an additional $12.5 million in incentives. To many this new contract came as a shock due to Blake’s poor play this past season and showing no signs of improvement even with an improving team around him filled with Pro – Bowlers and All – Pros.
In 2017 Bortles threw for 3,687 yards, 21 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions. These numbers are poor for a quarterback who had multiple reliable receivers to throw to, a running game that is dominant, and a defense that came in second in takeaways. Bortles struggled in his fourth year in this offense in which he is very familiar with by now. The only reason for a contract like this is that Jacksonville is hoping Bortles can go back to his ways in 2015 when he threw for over 4,400 yards, 35 touchdowns, and led Allen Robinson to a Pro Bowl appearance.
Bortles could return to those numbers due to many reasons… Robinson’s return could propel this passing offense back on track and give Bortles his confidence back. Also, if the team was able to resign Lee as their third receiver this could immensely help Bortles in throwing to a talented third option in the slot. The possibility of adding free agent Jimmy Graham could be a complete game changer for Blake as well. Adding a player who caught 10 touchdowns last season and a majority of them in the red zone can influence Bortles to an enormous extent.
Then having Fournette back healthy and ready to tote the rock 20+ times a game while averaging over four yards a carry can take a lot of stress off a Quarterback.
Still after trying to think of all the ways this team can help out Blake and give him a chance to be successful, I think this will not work out for both Bortles and the Jaguars. Blake has just not shown any signs of improvement on a talented team. He is simply not a talented quarterback and this team should seriously consider drafting a new young talent to bring in as a future starter in case this continuous Bortles experiment doesn’t work out.
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