This has been a highly anticipated class, and nearly every name that was expected as a possibility (from franchise tag candidate Kirk Cousins to redshirt sophomore Sam Darnold) is available in one offseason. Far from it. But he did enough to get a contract extension from the Jacksonville Jaguars that will add two years to his current deal and keep him tied to the Jaguars through the 2020 season.
After assessing the landscape, the Jacksonville front office evidently determined that Bortles was worth retaining for the next couple of years at an affordable cost, thereby allowing the Jaguars to funnel more financial resources to other areas of need on the roster.
Bortles' contract at $18 million per season is right on par with where the quarterback market has been since Brock Osweiler left the Denver Broncos in 2016.
I also thought Bortles would be better off resuming his career on another team.
Bortles has played - and started - every game the past three seasons, most recently throwing for 3,687 yards with 21 touchdowns and 13 interceptions this past season.
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If anything, this new extension demonstrates the strong amount of belief that the franchise has in Bortles that he can be the solution under center and can help bring them their first Super Bowl win. Jacksonville may still draft a signal caller this year, but Bortles' new deal pretty much eliminates any chance of Cousins landing with them.
I think you have to look at guys like Case Keenum, A.J. McCarron, and Tyrod Taylor if he becomes available as a free agent. He threw for 594 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions during the postseason.
"Blake's growth and development last season was a key to the success we had as a team", Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin said in the release. "Blake has proven, with toughness and dependability, that he can be the leader this team needs going forward".
Bortles, 25, put up the best performance of an otherwise up-and-down career in 2017.