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The Jaguars shouldn’t trade Gardner Minshew

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The Jacksonville Jaguars are on the clock. Man, does it feel good to say that!

The Jacksonville Jaguars will probably have an entirely new quarterbacks room once they make Trevor Lawrence the first overall pick next month.

Well, except for Jake Luton.

And it looked like the position group would see some (relative) stability going into this year—Urban Meyer initially said that he wasn’t planning on trading Gardner Minshew.

Now that Jacksonville has signed C.J. Beathard, the team will have at least four quarterbacks on the roster headed into their first offseason activities. That’s not unheard of, and I would imagine there to be more activity on that front leading up (and even including) the NFL Draft.

But it would seem as though Minshew is on his way out. With Lawrence coming in, Minshew’s trade value has never been higher and the Jaguars will likely choose a draft pick or a veteran player over a couple more years of Gardner’s rookie contract.

I don’t think that’s a good idea, and here’s why:

They need someone with experience.

Okay, let me rephrase that. They need someone with significant experience. Yeah, Jake Luton has played a few games, but he’s very bad. C.J. Beathard has played in 12 games, and his most recent performances look promising for a backup. But Minshew has experience being the starter for a sustained period of time. He’s not The Guy by any stretch of the imagination, but he’s good enough to not completely derail the growth and development of the players around him.

Gardner would start on at least one (1) team

If you have a quarterback who would be a starter on at least one NFL team, you don’t have a good starter... but you have a good backup. Right now, he’d challenge for the top spot in Chicago and Miami. Heck, even San Francisco could give him a shot. And he’d be the primary backup on the majority of teams around the league. You don’t give that up for a late Day 3 pick.

He’s on a cost-controlled contract

When assessing Gardner’s value, it’s important to remember that he has two more seasons of counting less than $1 million against the salary cap. Marcus Mariota? $8.8 million. Nick Foles? $8 million. Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston each count at least $5.5 million against the cap and one of them will be the backup. Quarterbacks, even backup quarterbacks, do not come cheap.