Dave Caldwell spoke with the media Thursday morning at the NFL Combine. He touched on many subjects, but most notably talked about Blake Bortles and his contract.
The Jaguars fourth year QB Blake Bortles has a team option in his rookie contract for a fifth year. The Jaguars have until early May to decide whether or not they are going to pick up the fifth year option. If the Jaguars do pick up the option it will guarantee Bortles contract in 2018 and it would make his salary for that year the average of the top 10 players at his position, which right now would be around $20 million. So essentially if the Jaguars do decide to pick up Bortles' option then they will be taking a huge leap of faith on a QB that has led the league in interceptions over the past two seasons.
In regards to the Bortles contract option Caldwell said they will get input from the coaches, and watch Bortles in OTAs and Minicamp and then make a decision closer to the dead line. If I was the Jaguars I would pass on Bortles option - even if Bortles has a great 2017 season the Jaguars can use their franchise tag on Bortles in 2018 in order to keep him around for another year, and they would be spending around the same amount of money on the franchise tag that they would be spending on the fifth year option. So, the only real reason the Jaguars would have to pick up the fifth year option would be to show Blake Bortles that they have full confidence in him and are committed to him moving forward. When talking about Bortles Caldwell emphasized, as he often does, how many TDs Bortles is responsible for over the last couple of years and made it clear that Bortles is the guy moving forward.
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