Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

Jags, Bortles finalizing 3-year extension

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Kristopher Love | 25 February, 2018, 11:54

Bortles was showing serious signs of promise after being drafted third overall in 2014, but then regressed to the point of people talking about signing Kirk Cousins. The Jacksonville Jaguars have reportedly agreed to a new contract with quarterback Blake Bortles, a three-year pact that takes them out of the running.

Bortles, 25, passed for 21 touchdowns and 13 interceptions last season. A person with knowledge of negotiations says the Jaguars are finalizing an extension that will keep Bortles under contract through 2020.

That's because on Saturday, Bortles and the Jaguars would come to terms on a three-year deal.

The fifth-year option gives quarterback Blake Bortles a salary of $19 million for 2018. Bortles has a chance to make an additional $12.5 million in incentives.

Bortles helped Jacksonville reach the AFC Championship game this season before the club lost to the New England Patriots.

The team announced the move one day after handing out two-year extensions to top executive Tom Coughlin, coach Doug Marrone and general manager Dave Caldwell. It really didn't seem certain that he would be a starting quarterback for long.

Still, the market for QBs is huge, and the Jaguars don't completely handicap their salary cap situation by going after a guy like Kirk Cousins who may demand nearly double the amount that Bortles is getting. And in three playoff starts, he threw three touchdowns compared to zero interceptions. Undrafted rookie Keelan Cole and fourth-round pick Dede Westbrook, who missed the first nine games of the season recovering from sports hernia surgery, were Bortles' main options during a late-season stretch. That means a massive upgrade in talent around him.

With their quarterback situation now resolved, the Jaguars can now turn their attention toward working out a new contract with former Pro Bowl wide receiver Allen Robinson, who played in just one game last season, before he hits the free agent market.