By signing Blake Bortles to a three-year, $54 million extension, the Jacksonville Jaguars seemed to be going all in with the quarterback that took them one game away from the franchise’s first Super Bowl.
But while the contract, first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, keeps him with the team through 2020, includes $26.5 million in guaranteed money and can reach $66.5 million if Bortles reaches all incentives, it’s not the vote of confidence it seems on paper.
“By the time 2019 rolls around, it will be one of the cheapest deals in the NFL for a starting quarterback,” writes SB Nation‘s Adam Stites. “It also doesn’t mean the Jaguars are convinced Bortles should be the starter much longer. Until the cap hits are revealed, it’s tough to know how tied to Bortles the Jaguars really are. It’s entirely possible that the Jaguars could move on from the quarterback as early as 2019 and take on minimal dead money in what would have been the final two years of his contract.”
The extension does, however, give Bortles at least another full season to prove himself as a starting quarterback — and effectively takes the Jaguars out of the Kirk Cousins derby and silences trade rumors surrounding Giants QB Eli Manning.