Blake Bortles, the former No. 3 overall draft pick who spent five seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars before he was released last week, shall be headed west for the 2019 NFL season. And with the 26-year-old signal-caller having agreed to a new contract with the Los Angeles Rams, he will, for the first time in his pro football career, be entering the new season as his team’s projected No. 2 quarterback.
According to USA Today, the Rams announced on Monday night that Bortles had agreed to sign a one-year deal with the team, one week after the Jaguars cut him to make way for Nick Foles, who signed a four-year, $88 million contract with Jacksonville after spending the last two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles. Terms of Bortles’ new contract were not immediately available at the time of the report.
As noted by Bleacher Report, there were a few other teams, including the Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos, who had shown interest in Bortles prior to last night’s announcement. The Ravens are expected to start 2018 first-round draft pick Lamar Jackson at quarterback, while the Broncos recently acquired veteran Joe Flacco, who had served as the Ravens’ No. 1 quarterback until midway through the 2018 season, when he suffered a hip injury and was replaced by Jackson as the team’s starter, per ESPN.
Meanwhile, Blake Bortles is expected to sit behind 2016 first-overall draft pick Jared Goff, who blossomed into a star under head coach Sean McVay and led the Rams to the Super Bowl, where they lost last month to the New England Patriots, 13-3. Per USA Today, Bortles’ status as an incoming six-year veteran with 75 career games played makes him the Rams’ most experienced reserve quarterback and a potentially solid second-stringer behind the 24-year-old Goff.
Despite posting good stats in his second pro season in 2015, where he threw for 35 touchdowns, 18 interceptions, and 4,428 yards, Bortles posted middling numbers over the next three seasons and failed to hit 4,000 passing yards in any of those campaigns. His tenure with the Jaguars ended with a 24-49 record as a starter, including a 3-9 record in the 2018 season, and career totals of 103 touchdown passes and 75 interceptions.
As further noted by USA Today, the Jaguars chose to release Bortles just one year into the three-year, $54 million contract he signed during the 2018 offseason. He will be replaced by Nick Foles, who was mostly used as a backup to Carson Wentz during his recent stint with the Eagles, but still led Philadelphia to victory at Super Bowl LII last year after Wentz was sidelined with a season-ending injury.