JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Blake Bortles will have a new backup quarterback this season after Chad Henne signed with Kansas City. In March the Jaguars traded a conditional 2019 seventh-round draft pick to Cleveland for quarterback Cody Kessler. The Browns drafted Kessler in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. In two years with the Browns the former USC Trojan was winless in eight starts.
Career stats in two years with the Cleveland Browns: 139-for-218, 1,506 yards, 6 TDs and 3 INTs
2018 Projection: Kessler wasn’t brought in to push Bortles for his starting job. He has two years left on a rookie deal which will save the Jaguars roughly $5-million, compared to the 2-year deal Henne signed with the Chiefs.
Although Kessler was winless as a starter in Cleveland he did post a respectable 6:3 TD-to-INT ratio and an 87.4 passing rate. At only 25-years old the Jaguars feel they can mold him into a reliable back up in the event that Bortles goes down with an injury.
Bortles has been very durable during his 4-year NFL career. Henne attempted a total of two passes during his final three seasons in Jacksonville. In a best case scenario, Kessler would only see the field in mop up duty.
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone on how far along Kessler is with learning a new offense:
“There are some things that he is being taught that are quite different. He is working through that. He acknowledges that. I have talked to him about it. It is just kind of just trying to break some habits and get him into some of the habits that we need him to do. He is working his butt off to do that.”