Assigning a quarterback a personal record ignores that football is a team sport. Yet, some teams still believe in it.
That’s really the only way one can spin the Jacksonville Jaguars signing quarterback Blake Bortles to a contract extension. The Jaguars had a good season — mostly due to their defense and running game, with Bortles making plays here and there — winning the AFC South and almost winning the AFC championship game. They rewarded Bortles with a three-year, $54 million deal that can reach $66.5 million with incentives and has $26.5 million guaranteed, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Schefter said the deal ties the Jaguars to Bortles through 2020.
It's official ️ @BBortles5 signs a contract extension that runs through the 2020 season.
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) February 25, 2018
And you have to imagine, if the Jaguars defense or Leonard Fournette weren’t as good as the Jaguars went 7-9, Bortles’ play probably would have gotten him booted out of Jacksonville.
That’s not to say Bortles didn’t have his moments, but he also had some poor games like when he failed to reach 100 yards passing in a playoff game against Buffalo (the Jaguars defense held the Bills to a field goal in a 10-3 win, another reason why assigning a win to a quarterback is flawed). Bortles is still inconsistent. He had a middling 84.7 rating, which ranked 23rd among quarterbacks with 160 passes. Ryan Fitzpatrick ranked right ahead of him. Bortles threw for 21 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in a run-first offense. He did have some good games, including solid performances against New England and Pittsburgh in the playoffs and a hot three-game stretch late in the season, but he’s also the same quarterback a lot of fans wanted benched for Chad Henne last August. He didn’t suddenly turn into a top quarterback worth at least $18 million a year — though, in this market that’s not all that bad for a starting quarterback. But the Jaguars have a lot invested in him, he’s still young and did show signs of improvement. And the Jaguars won 10 regular-season games last season. So instead of just letting Bortles play out his fifth year option, they were proactive and locked him up for a few more. It also obviously knocks the Jaguars out of the mix for any of the big-money free-agent quarterbacks.
Bortles saved his job after the Jaguars picked him to start the season at quarterback over Henne. He played well enough, though he still had his shaky moments. But for better or worse, he’s now the Jaguars quarterback for a few more years.
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