On Saturday night, the Jacksonville Jaguars signed quarterback Blake Bortles to a three-year contract extension.
The new deal replaces Bortles' current contract which had one year left to run and includes $26.5m in guaranteed money.
As a kid and Florida native from Oviedo, Blake Bortles used to attend Jacksonville Jaguars games with his father which likely explains why signing his contract extension Wednesday felt surreal. And chances are the Jaguars would have defeated the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game if offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett had not gone into a conservative cocoon with a second half lead against the Patriots.
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"Over a four-year career, he's completed just 59.1 percent of his passes while compiling 90 touchdowns and 64 interceptions along the way". That was to have paid him $19,053,000 for next season. "Along with this contract come high expectations that he will continue to improve and help our team accomplish its ultimate goal". There was some sense that the Jaguars could move on from Bortles after this year, and while the team did its due diligence in evaluating the market, something special would have to have come available for Bortles to be let go. The Jags entered the day with about $20 million to spend in 2018. But for now, Blake Bortles appears to be their man.
They freed up $3.6 million by cutting backup running back Chris Ivory on Friday and could gain $7 million more by parting ways with backup receiver Allen Hurns. The Jaguars have the option of signing the fourth-year player to a long-term deal, giving him the franchise tag or allowing him to test free agency where it is nearly a guarantee he will sign with another franchise. The Jags sent a strong message by moving to lock Bortles up long term weeks before free agency.
Bortles' toughness was another reason he gained respect in the locker room and from the coaching staff.
Blake Bortles is back, and giving him the max potential of surrounding talent is now of the upmost importance for the Jacksonville Jaguars. But if Bortles remained healthy, the Jaguars still could have opted to move on and make a change at quarterback - perhaps by chasing Cousins, the three-time 4,000-yard passer for the Washington Redskins, who can become an unrestricted free agent in March. "That's his only goal".