Last Saturday, many NFL fans were shocked to hear that the Jacksonville Jaguars had given quarterback Blake Bortles a contract extension despite his inconsistencies with the franchise since they drafted him with a first-round pick in 2014.
Bortles' new three-year contract is worth $54 million, which includes $26.5 million in guaranteed money, and it replaces his current contract, which had one year remaining on it via the fifth-year option included in his rookie contract.
The quarterback is now locked in at Jacksonville until the end of the 2020 season, but many have mixed feelings about the deal. While Bortles did help the Jaguars reach the AFC Championship game in the 2017 season, he has been inconsistent over the years under center at the franchise.
However, an interesting statistic about Bortles shows why the Jaguars were right to give the 25-year-old an extension, rather than letting him leave the franchise.
According to Tad Dickman, the senior manager of public relations at the Jaguars, Bortles has thrown 90 career touchdown passes and is 72 yards shy of 15,000 career passing yards before he turns 26 years old later this year in April.
Dickman says only four players have thrown for 15,000+ yards & 90+ touchdowns before turning 26. These players are Peyton Manning, Drew Bledsoe, Dan Marino, Matthew Stafford. To be in the same company as those four guys demonstrates Bortles is on the right path to say the least!
Jaguars fans would love it if Bortles can follow the same career path of the likes of Manning and Marino, and in 2017, he showed glimpses that he could do just that.
Last season, the 25-year-old completed a career-high 60 per cent of his passes for 3,687 yards, with 21 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. However, it's his inconsistency which many people have a problem with. One season he hinders the team and they go 3-13. The next season he can help the team reach the AFC title game.
If Bortles can bring his postseason form into the regular season, the Jaguars will be in real business. In the 2017 playoffs, he completed 49 of 85 attempts for 594 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions. A fantastic performance by Tom Brady in the AFC title game was the only reason the Jaguars quarterback didn't lead his franchise to the Super Bowl.
While the Bortles' contract extension means Jacksonville is out of the sweepstakes for Kirk Cousins, it doesn't rule out them drafting a quarterback this year that could dethrone him eventually if he fails to get rid of inconsistencies.
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