With the Jacksonville Jaguars having just signed former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, erstwhile starter Blake Bortles became expendable and was officially released by the team on Wednesday. This ended a five-year stint with the team where Bortles mostly failed to live up to expectations as the No. 3 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, with the team going just 24-49 in the games that the former University of Central Florida signal-caller started. With that in mind, Yahoo Sports predicted that Bortles probably won’t be given another chance to start for an NFL team, but also listed a number of possible destinations where he could land as a backup.
According to Yahoo Sports‘ Jason Owens, the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks could be among the teams who could sign Bortles as a free agent due to their similar need for a backup quarterback. As the Broncos recently traded last year’s starter, Case Keenum, to the Washington Redskins, new arrival Joe Flacco currently doesn’t have an established No. 2 quarterback behind him on the depth chart. Likewise, Owens posited that the Seahawks could use someone more reliable than former Broncos first-round pick Paxton Lynch as Russell Wilson’s top backup.
As further speculated by Owens, the Green Bay Packers could also be in the running for Blake Bortles, given the fact that the team’s offensive coordinator, Nathaniel Hackett, had previously served in the same capacity for the Jaguars. However, it was also noted that the Packers still have DeShone Kizer, whom the team traded for in the 2018 offseason, as the No. 2 quarterback behind Aaron Rodgers.
We would like to thank the @Jaguars and the entire #Jacksonville community for the last few years. It was an honor serving you and we will cherish all of the memories, friendships, and lifelong bonds that were established. Best of luck to all in your future endeavors! #DUUUVAL pic.twitter.com/2BBNTXXM3f
— Blake Bortles Foundation (@BB5Foundation) March 14, 2019
While Flacco, Wilson, and Rodgers are all proven veterans, the New York Jets’ No. 1 quarterback, Sam Darnold, will only be entering his second year in the NFL once the 2019 season begins. Yahoo Sports‘ Owens wrote that the Jets could also sign Bortles as Darnold’s backup, given how last year’s No. 2 quarterback, Josh McCown, is now a free agent and might be considering retirement as he approaches his 40th birthday in July.
The Redskins, as noted by NBC Sports, went through a quarterback crisis after Alex Smith and Colt McCoy suffered season-ending injuries, as the team ended up with the likes of Mark Sanchez and Josh Johnson starting in the last few weeks of the 2018 season. However, Owens suggested that signing Blake Bortles might not make much sense for the “quarterback-desperate” Redskins. He pointed out that recent trade acquisition Keenum and longtime backup/occasional starter McCoy could end up battling for the starting role, thus making it impractical to sign Bortles as a likely No. 3 quarterback.