Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE
With the Jacksonville Jaguars likely being blown up after the 2012 season, many fans assume that means dumping Blaine Gabbert, but that's probably not the case.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are currently 1-8 on the season with a trip against the Houston Texans on the horizon. Many Jaguars fans are already reserved to the fact that the 2012 season for all intents and purposes is at a loss. Most Jaguars fans have come to the realization that the team and front office will likely be gutted prior to the 2013 season and assume that will include quarterback Blaine Gabbert.
As Lee Corso would say, not so fast my friends.
And this isn't because Blaine Gabbert is good, it's because he's not terrible and the alternatives appear to just also be.. not terrible.
Now, whoever the new general manager is may decide to go an entirely different direction, and that's perfectly fine. But for the sake of this, hear me out.
Blaine Gabbert is currently on pace to throw for 3,000+ yards, 18 touchdowns and around 12-13 interceptions, which is about average in terms of NFL standards. Gabbert also looks noticeably better than he did his rookie season, but he was also atrocious as a rookie.
Some fans will point to the 2013 NFL Draft as a spot to replace Gabbert and pick up their franchise quarterback, but in my opinion outside of Geno Smith, there's not really a quarterback worth taking in the Top 10 of the 2013 draft. The Jaguars at this point don't even have the No. 1 overall pick and the team who does, the Kansas City Chiefs, are also in dire need of a quarterback. So, with the Chiefs likely taking West Virginia's Smith first overall, what to do you at No. 2?
Do you force Matt Barkley, who's looked pretty average in his senior season and half of his junior year? Do you force someone like N.C. State's Mike Glennon, who's picked up steam in scouting circles? I understand that with a new general manager likely comes a new quarterback, but do you think the new general manager wants to force one with his first pick? I don't.
There are some guys you can take in the second to mid-rounds like Arkansas' Tyler Wilson, Syracuse's Ryan Nassib, and Miami (OH)'s Zach Dysert, but none of those guys are likely going to be ready to start right away. So that leaves you again with needing at least a place holder quarterback on your roster.
So, if you need a place holder quarterback anyway, why not just stick with a young player who's improving? The improvement isn't much to brag about, but it's there. It's not like the 2013 free agent crop of quarterbacks is something to get excited about, just like the 2013 quarterback draft class.
Assuming the Baltimore Ravens either franchise tag or re-sign Joe Flacco, the cream of the crop of the free agent quarterbacks are Jason Campbell, Matt Moore, Tarvaris Jackson, Drew Stanton, Derek Anderson, Charlie Batch, Byron Leftwich, Rex Grossman, Trent Edwards, and possibly Michael Vick.
Bear in mind the contract you'd likely be giving to a guy to "start" for you, even in a place holder role. It's likely similar to the roughly $3 million per year deal Chad Henne got. Blaine Gabbert's salary for 2013 is roughly $1.5 million, thanks to the rookie wage scale.
Then you say, well why not make a trade for an upcoming young quarterback on another team's roster, like the Houston Texans did with Matt Schaub. Alright, that sounds great... so who? Which backup is out there that you can say that about? Nick Foles, who's probably going to push to start for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013? Colin Kaepernick who's probably going to push to start for the San Francisco 49ers in 2013? Matt Flynn up in Seattle, who lost his job to Russell Wilson? I mean really, who's out there that can be a long term starter worth trading for?
Logically and really logistically, it doesn't make much sense for the Jaguars to do anything but roll with Gabbert one more season as they begin rebuilding their roster. This isn't a post in support of Gabbert, either, it's more of a preparing you for what's likely to be coming.