Here I sit, shirtless in my home office after eating a tube of Pringles (don’t judge; they’re the low fat kind), writing this article while Blake “I Heard You Like Checkdowns…” Bortles just made $54 million over the next three years.
I guess I shouldn’t be too upset because:
A. There’s no way in hell I could ever play quarterback in the NFL, so it’s not like we were directly competing with each other. And—
B. Technically only $26.5 million of it is guaranteed.
But that’s NOT THE POINT. The point is that a 25 year old that’s really bad at his job is making, roughly, $53,990,000 more per year than me. If I were that bad at any job I’ve ever done, not only would I not be given a brand, spanking new contract, I’d have been fired fifteen times over before then.
Blake Bortles is NOT GOOD. I really don’t understand what the Jaguars are thinking in re-signing him. I get that it’s only three years, so the commitment isn’t as lengthy as other contracts, but why are they paying a guy any amount of money when he’s continued to prove that he just can’t be the kind of quarterback to LEAD a team.
To be fair, I know Bortles isn’t really all that bad. He’s mediocre. His checkdown ability is far superior to any other quarterback, but why tie at least the next two years to him? If they’re willing to kneel the ball in the AFC Championship with :55 left before halftime because they distrust Bortles SO much, then why in the hell would they dedicate this much money to a guy they don’t believe in?
If you don’t believe me, just look at some of his rankings from this past season. He was bottom 10 in Passer Rating and Completion Percentage, bottom half in Touchdowns, and he was Top 10 in Interceptions.
Let’s just compare his stats to some of the other quarterbacks available this off-season:
Blake Bortles: 60.2 Cmp%, 3,687 Yds, 21 TD, 13 INT, 84,7 Rating
Kirk Cousins: 64.3 Cmp%, 4,093 Yds, 27 TD, 13 INT, 93.9 Rating
Case Keenum: 67.6 Cmp%, 3,547 Yds, 22 TD, 7 INT, 98.3 Rating
Drew Brees: 72 Cmp%, 4,334 Yds, 23 TD, 8 INT, 103.9 Rating
Josh McCown: 67.3 Cmp%, 2,926 Yds, 18 TD, 9 INT, 94.5 Rating
Now I’m not saying the Jaguars should have just gone out, broke the bank, and spent the majority of their cap space on Drew Brees, or even Kirk Cousins, but at least exploring those options is preferable to locking in on “Mr. Underachiever” himself, Blake Bortles.
Keenum and McCown have had their failures and successes through their careers, but can we honestly say that, given the talent the Jaguars have on their roster, they couldn’t at least have played on par with their performances from this past season? Either would have been an upgrade over Bortles.
If it’s me, I’m taking a shot on either Cousins, Keenum, or McCown rather than good old Blakey Bortles. Give either one of those three quarterbacks the Jaguars defense, offensive line, and Leonard Fournette and every ounce of logic my tiny brain has tells me they would all easily outperform Blake Bortles.
The Jags can’t trust Bortles in clutch moments and Case Keenum is coming off of a season with one of the most clutch touchdowns the NFL playoffs have ever seen.
The point is there were better options out there, but the Jaguars were just too scared to take a chance on another one of these quarterbacks. They were too afraid that they would move on from their former #1 pick and it would come back to bite them in the ass.
It is true that Bortles has improved in some areas from year to year, but he also regresses in other areas of his game too. He’s too unpredictable and can’t really seem to put all of his physical tools together at the same time. Why tie your future to a quarterback like that?
The one good thing is that the Jaguars got him on the cheap, but the bad news is the Jags offense is going to continue to be “Checkdown City” for the next couple of seasons. If that’s the case, the Jaguars will be playoff contenders, but never Super Bowl contenders—at least as long as Blake Bortles has the ball in his hands.