But here's the great part: The Jags have him for three more years, and only $26.5 million is guaranteed. The extension came together in less than a week.
Here's how the Blake Bortles contract breaks down. It has been done, and I am excited and thrilled and proud of myself for being able to do that. It's entirely possible that the Jaguars could move on from the quarterback as early as 2019 and take on minimal dead money in what would have been the final two years of his contract.
I figured the Jags would essentially take a one-year flyer on Bortles, kicking the can on his potential to become the team's franchise quarterback by paying him the $19.1 million dollars he was due if he was still on the roster on March 14 (the first day of the 2018 National Football League calendar year). It's conceivable Bortles could lead them to the promised land with adept - and we regret to use the word - game managing. Bortles completed 60.2 percent of his passes (the first time he surpassed the 60 percent mark) for 3,687 yards and 21 touchdowns with 13 interceptions.
"Blake's growth and development last season was a key to the success we had as a team", Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin said in the release. The fewer teams in need of a quarterback gives the Vikings a better chance of the team bringing back Keenum and/or Bridgewater, or going outside of the box and signing someone like Kirk Cousins. "I think signing the second deal with the team that drafted you was my goal from the beginning". Allen Robinson suffered a torn left ACL on the third play of the season, and veterans Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee combined to miss eight games.
So the Jags believe Bortles' best years are ahead. Which would have paid him so much that it would have made no sense to also draft a potential franchise quarterback?
Extending Bortles should give the team more cap space heading into free agency.