Why Did the Jaguars Pay Up for Blake Bortles?

Jacksonville's decision to give its quarterback a huge deal is a product of a questionable decision made last year.

blake bortles
Blake Bortles #5 of the Jacksonville Jaguars reacts in the second quarter of the AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Getty Images

The decision by the Jacksonville Jaguars to give quarterback Blake Bortles a three-year, $54 million deal is not because of his talent. It is not a product of what he showed in the postseason during two impressive games against the Steelers and Patriots, or in a terrible effort at home against the Bills. Instead, the decision to re-sign Bortles is a product of a questionable decision the Jaguars made last year, according to ESPN. It was already questionable at the time, and it has grown worse with perspective. ESPN writes that it is also a reflection on where the team is going and whether the Jags can build upon an impressive 2017 season to take that final leap into the Super Bowl. Last May, the Jags decided to exercise Bortles’ fifth-year option, so the team had another year of cost control on their enigmatic quarterback through the 2018 season. For Bortles, the fifth-year option was more than $19 million. The salary is guaranteed only for injury. The Jags were about to be stuck paying the quarterback $19 million for an injury he had when Jacksonville signed him the extension (he suffered a wrist injury during the final month of the 2016 season). He eventually needed surgery and was benched during the preseason. Since it was likely Bortles would be unable to pass a physical — and therefore be given $19 million before hitting the free agency next season — the Jags gave him the three-year, $54 million deal. ESPN writes that the fifth-year option was a “sunk cost.” The team didn’t make the worst move by giving Bortles this deal, but it raises questions about their thought process heading into 2018 and beyond.

Win the Ultimate Formula 1® Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix Experience

Want the F1 experience of a lifetime? Here’s your chance to win tickets to see Turn 18 Grandstand, one of Ultimate Formula 1® Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix’s most premier grandstands!