By all accounts Chad Henne is a wonderful teammate, mentor, and person, but his value as a backup QB for the Jaguars just isn't there anymore.
Set to turn 32 before the start of the 2017 season Henne's skill set and level of play has diminished throughout the years. In his last season as a starter in the NFL (2014) he was benched just two and a half games into the season in favor of then rookie QB Blake Bortles. During that season Henne completed just 53 % of his passes, and put up just three touchdowns and less that 500 yards passing.
Since then, when he has gotten playing time in the preseason, Henne just hasn't looked his old self. He regularly gets balls batted at the line of scrimmage and is much more likely to check down on a play instead of going for the big play, which has earned him the nickname "Check down Chad".
For the last couple of years the Jaguars have toed the company line when it comes to Henne. He is a "great mind in the QB room" and "a sounding board" and "a great mentor for Blake". Well, Blake is entering his fourth season in the NFL and should no longer need to be mentored by his backup. It's not like that mentorship helped Bortles or the Jaguars during the nightmarish 2016 campaign.
While it would be nice, I'm not saying the Jaguars need to bring in someone to compete with Blake Bortles for the starting job. But they need to have a competent second string QB. What if Blake suffers an injury - will you be confident sending Chad Henne into the game? I know I won't be. And even worse what if Blake plays just as bad as he did in 2016? The Jaguars must have a contingency plan.
If I were running the team Brian Hoyer would be the Jaguars back up right now. He would push Blake and if Blake did sustain an injury or played lousy again there would be no hesitation to send Hoyer into the game. Obviously, Hoyer is no longer on the market, but the Jaguars still have other options. In 41 days they could use a draft pick on one of the many quarterbacks in the 2017 draft class. Or they could sign one of the few competent backups still available. Chase Daniel is out there - his level of skill far outshines Chad Henne's at this point; Josh McCown is longer in the tooth than Henne is, but he too is playing at a higher level than is Henne right now.
It's time to win. And if the Jaguars are serious about winning, they should seriously consider finding a new backup QB heading into 2017 - if things don't go right for Blake Bortles, they have NOTHING behind him on the roster that inspires any confidence. Sure, the Jags have soon to be second year QB Brandon Allen, but the 2016 6th round pick doesn't yet appear ready to play on Sundays.
Tom - go get yourself another QB.
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