The Jacksonville Jaguars have until May 3 to pick up the fifth-year option on starting quarterback Blake Bortles’ rookie deal. By then, fans will know what the team’s plan is moving forward. Is there a chance the Jaguars take a quarterback with the fourth or 35th pick in the Draft? If so, will this mean the end of the former UCF star in teal and black after the 2017 season?
Deshaun Watson is in town, visiting the Jacksonville Jaguars with other first-round hopefuls. The star from Clemson figures to be a first-round pick, possibly the first quarterback to come off the board. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, the message is exactly what people think it is – the Jaguars are interested in drafting a signal caller.
Rapoport said the Jaguars may think the value is right and believe Watson is their franchise quarterback since he is one of the eight players who are in town over the next two days to visit with management and head coach Doug Marrone.
“This tells you the door is open for someone to come in and take Blake Bortles’ job,” Rapoport said.
The heat is on Bortles to perform, that is clear. A rookie and third season of poor play sandwiched in the second season where he threw for 4,400 yards and 35 touchdowns doesn’t tell the entire story. There have been concerns about Bortles’ issues with throwing interceptions and how he practices during the week in preparation for regular season games.
Mike Garafalo of NFL.com piggybacked off Rapoport’s comments. Bortles wasn’t drafted by Marrone or executive vice president Tom Coughlin who said in the past few weeks quarterback play has to be better. Also, Coughlin said Bortles has to play with more consistency. Additionally, the Jaguars nee to get a better effort from their offensive line to be effective.
General manager David Caldwell is still on staff – the man who drafted Bortles with the third overall pick in 2014. Coughlin does not have all that much invested in Bortles. However, he needs to know if he can become the franchise quarterback this team envisioned.
“He [Coughlin] said Bortles has to win and take care of the football,” Garafalo said.
Coughlin knows about working with young quarterbacks and finding success. He had Mark Brunell as his QB at the beginning of the franchise existence. Together they went to two AFC Title games. Coughlin also won two Super Bowls in New York with Eli Manning under center.