The Jacksonville Jaguars have not had a winning season since they won 11 games in 2007, but the franchise still believes that they have a strong chance to play in the postseason this year. The additions of Barry Church and Calasis Campbell in the off-season should help Jacksonville have one of the best defenses in the AFC. Drafting Leonard Fournette with the fourth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft also gives the team their first great running back since Fred Taylor retired. While the Jaguars have great players at several key positions, they still have a lot of questions to answer at the quarterback position.
Blake Bortles was supposed to be the franchise quarterback in Jacksonville when he was drafted with the third overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, but he has failed to impress lately. Bortles looked like he could become a great quarterback when he tallied 4,428 passing yards and 35 touchdowns in 2015, but he has only regressed since his excellent sophomore season. Bortles consistently failed to hit open receivers during the 2016 season, which caused him to finish the year with 23 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.
The struggles have continued into 2017 for Blake Bortles. He has looked clueless at times during training camp and the team’s first two preseason games. Jacksonville had several chances to hit a big play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their second preseason game yesterday, but Bortles could not accurately throw the ball. The struggles of Blake Bortles forced head coach Doug Marrone to let Chad Henne get some playing time with the starters. While Henne did not play much better than Bortles yesterday, the Jacksonville Jaguars now have an open competition at the quarterback position.
The Jacksonville Jaguars will play a home game against the Carolina Panthers next week in their third preseason game. It is expected that both Bortles and Henne will get extensive playing time against Carolina’s top defense. Both quarterbacks will also likely see a lot of action in the team’s final preseason game the following week against the Atlanta Falcons. While most teams like to rest their starters in the last exhibition game, the Jacksonville Jaguars do not have that luxury. They need to find someone that can successfully lead the offense when the games count. The team simply has too much talent on the offensive side of the ball to consistently struggle to score points.
If Blake Bortles does not win the starting quarterback job in the next two weeks, then he may need to find a new team. Bortles is set to make a little more than $19 million next season. This is a huge blow to the salary cap for a player that has not shown an ability to help the team win games. Jacksonville can avoid paying out that large contract by cutting ties with Bortles right now. Chad Henne certainly is not the quarterback of the future in Jacksonville, but he will help the Jaguars save a lot of money and frustration if Bortles’ struggles continue.
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