Jaguars officially part ways with Blake Bortles

Bortles era ends after five seasons in Jacksonville

By Brian Jackson - Digital sports reporter
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After five seasons, the Blake Bortles era has officially come to an end.

On Wednesday the Jaguars cut their former starting quarterback. The move was mere formality after Jacksonville agreed to terms with quarterback Nick Foles on the first day of free agency.

The Jaguars hoped they were drafting a franchise quarterback when they used the No. 3 overall pick to select Bortles in 2014. However, his career in Jacksonville was marked by highs and lows. 

In 2017, the Jaguars made it all the way to the AFC championship game. That was one of few bright spots for the former UCF product. 

The Jaguars went 24-29 with Bortles under center. He finished his career in Jacksonville with 103 touchdowns, 75 interceptions, a 59.3 completion rate and 6.7 yards per pass attempt.

There was optimism that Bortles had turned a corner following that run to the AFC title game. In February of 2018, he was rewarded with a three-year contract extension that would’ve been worth up to $66.5 million. 

Thirteen months later, the Jaguars are now saddled with that decision. Cutting Bortles doesn’t give the Jaguars much salary cap relief. In 2019, his contract will count for $16.5 million in dead money and an additional $5 million in 2020. 

At only 26, Bortles will likely get another chance to play quarterback elsewhere in 2019. At 6-5, 235 pounds, he still has the physical tools that most teams look for in a quarterback. Including playoff games, Bortles has 76 career NFL starts and could turn out to be an experienced backup quarterback. 

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