Remember earlier this year when the Jaguars were one quarter away from a Super Bowl appearance? When they almost dethroned the perennial favorite New England Patriots? Remember when Blake Bortles looked like a top 10 quarterback when it mattered most? Well the Jaguars remembered and as a result, signed Bortles to a 3 year, $54 million extension. This move was heavily criticized, especially since Bortles had a one year option the Jags could’ve exercised. But after the Jaguars thrashed the Patriots in week 2, it looked like a good. Now, after week 7, the Jaguars are 3-4 and Bortles, who leads the NFL in turnovers, was benched for Cody Kessler.
The Jaguars are far from eliminated from the division, as they are only a game back of the Texans and tied with the Titans .But if they want to make a run deep into the playoffs, they need to make a change at QB. I’ve always liked Bortles but he just hasn’t proved to be a consistent option for the Jags. A lot of people want to place the blame on the defense for giving up 30, 40, and 20 points the last three weeks respectively. But when your offense is turning the ball over so much, your defense spends more time on the field. As a result, they get tired and play worse.
If the Jaguars want to play better, they need less turnovers. The quick fix for that is changing quarterbacks. They have a few options. Option two is to continue to roll with Cody Kessler. Kessler was a third round pick for the Browns in 2016. I honestly don’t think he looked that bad for the Browns. The issue was that he was on the Browns, who lacked weapons and structure and coaching. He won’t make the offense dynamic, but he will make them steadier and help the turnover issue. Option two is to sign a free agent. Unfortunately, the free agent market isn’t too loaded with quarterbacks right now. The best free agent quarterback is probably someone like Colin Kaepernick. Other options are Paxton Lynch, Christen Hackenburg, or the semi-retired Jay Cutler. Some of these options aren’t really an upgrade and they won’t even be able to play for a few weeks until they learned the offense. The third option is making a trade. There are plenty of backups or even starters out there who would be a significant upgrade from Bortles or Kessler. Pretty much everyone is on the trade block in Oakland, so they could try to trade for Derek Carr. He’s still young and looked good a few years ago before a revolving door of head coaches and offensive coordinators and some injuries slowed him down. Tyrod Taylor is another option. While he won’t make the offense a juggernaut, he’s known for being safe and reliable. He will keep the offense on the field and his running ability could bolster the Jags rushing attack. Some other options that could be improvements are Sam Bradford, Teddy Bridgewater, or Nick Foles. However, like with signing a free agent, these guys won’t be ready right away. Thus, either Kessler or Bortles would have to keep the team afloat until the new guy is ready.
The Jaguars have plenty of options moving forward. However, there’s one option they can’t go with, and that’s sticking with Blake Bortles. He’s been too unreliable and is the reason for this horrible start. If the Jaguars don’t want to waste a great, young defense, they’re going to have to make a move fast.
-Stephen Brown III (@sbtrey23)
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