The hits keep coming for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Blake Bortles.
ESPN’s Dan Graziano has ranked their quarterback situation as one of the worst in the league — 26th in the league, to be exact. That’s above the likes of just the Houston Texans, Chicago Bears, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns, and New York Jets.
Here is what Graziano had to say about Bortles & Co.
A new coach (Doug Marrone) and new VP of football operations (Tom Coughlin) mean the heat is on 2014 first-round pick Blake Bortles. He had an absolutely rotten 2016 season and has thrown more interceptions (51) than anyone in the league the past three years other than Philip Rivers (52). Like the Dolphins, the Jaguars didn't draft anyone to compete with or pressure Bortles. Like the Dolphins, they have an eternal backup option in Chad Henne if things don't work out.
They picked up Bortles' 2018 contract option, but until next March, that is guaranteed only against injury, which means they can cut Bortles loose next spring if they don't feel that he is worth $19 million in 2018. It's a prove-it year for Bortles in Jacksonville, and the organization is looking for reasons to feel confident.
In my opinion, this is exactly where this team’s quarterback situation should be slotted compared to the rest of the league, if not a notch or two down. The team is moving away from Bortles as the centerpiece of the offense to making him Alex Smith East and minimizing his highs and lows to the team.
But that transition hasn’t happened yet, and so for the first three years of Bortles’ career you’ve had the offense revolving around him — magnifying his flaws, his bad mechanics, his poor decision-making, and more.
In short, the Jaguars quarterbacks are bad until they aren’t. Prove me (and ESPN) wrong, Bortles.