The Blake Bortles era is coming to a close in Jacksonville. After having his starting job usurped by Cody Kessler, the Jaguars are looking to move on from the former first-round pick.
The plan is unclear as to what the team will do regarding replacing the UCF product. However, it’s clear as to what they’re doing despite having given Bortles a contract extension before the 2018 season.
Aside from the slightly clear picture for the Jaguars as far as their quarterback future looks, the same can’t be said for the former Golden Knight. He will likely need to find a new home in 2019, and it will take a lot for a team to take a chance on him after not living up to the third overall selection hype.
Despite that notion, Blake Bortles does have a lot of potential and strong play left in him if he’s given the right opportunity in the right place. He isn’t too far removed from his 2015 season in which he threw for over 4,000 yards, and his turnover numbers have gone down considerably.
All Bortles needs is a place that will give him a chance to perform and allow him to show his worth.
So with that being said, here are the three best destinations for Blake Bortles in 2019.
3. New York Giants
With the playing career of Eli Manning likely coming to close soon, the Giants need to look to replacement options. This will point them in the direction of the draft to help them remedy this. However, they’ve been scorned multiple times from this with the last two quarterbacks they’ve drafted.
The first being Davis Webb, who’s now on the Jets roster. Many believed him to be the successor to Eli Manning, but his play didn’t match up to what the Giants expected from the young quarterback. The move is best explained by The Athletic’s Michael Lombardi as to why the former Giant was cut.
Some thought Webb played better as the preseason advanced, but in reality, he is not a quick-twitch player — meaning he lacks anticipation to make throws or had great control of the ball.
Former Packers great Brett Favre believed an average quarterback could throw the ball through the door, a good one can hit the doorknob, and the great ones can throw it through the key lock. Webb, who signed with the Jets’ practice squad on Tuesday, is more of a door-thrower.
And, most recently, the Giants’ other quarterback, Kyle Lauletta, was arrested for eluding police and resisting arrest.
With all of this in mind, the Giants might look for the conservative strategy and sign a veteran. Blake Bortles could take this over and can flourish in an offense that features weapons like receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and running back Saquon Barkley.
Bortles has struggled with sacks in his career, and the Giants are currently tied for third in the league in giving up sacks. Adding protection for the quarterback will need to be a major priority for this offense. But, if they can bring that in, then the Bortles pairing would fit well.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Another situation in which the quarterback situation is uncertain, Tampa Bay is dealing with all of the Jameis Winston drama. From off-the-field issues to inconsistent play with no serious progression in sight, it could all be over with Winston and the Bucs.
After Winston earned his starting job back from Ryan Fitzpatrick (after his three-game suspension), he threw 10 interceptions in four games before being benched in favor of Fitzpatrick once again. However, he’s begun changing the fortunes of his stat line with two touchdowns in each of his last three games to only one interception.
Luckily, he’s playing better from what he started out doing and even got his fifth-year option picked up by the Buccaneers. But this doesn’t mean that his future with the team is guaranteed as head coach Dirk Koetter tells Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.
I just don’t know, for obvious reasons.
I think Jameis is still a franchise quarterback, but that decision will be made by somebody else at the end of the year.
If Tampa Bay believes that the former Seminole isn’t the option for the future then they don’t have to look outside of the state. They could easily bring in the services of Blake Bortles.
The offense is explosive with the talents of receivers Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, and Adam Humphries and with tight end OJ Howard. They currently garner the number one passing offense with what they’ve done so far this season. However, they still need help with the rushing game and developing their young running backs.
If the Bucs offense can add a more balanced attack, then this pairing would be perfect for Bortles.
1. Washington Redskins
And with another scenario in which the team’s starting quarterback situation is mirky, none is worse than the Redskins. They went into this season with Alex Smith having a relatively successful campaign as the team’s likely bridge quarterback. Then he broke both his tibia and fibula on one gruesome play.
Then Colt McCoy took over as the team’s starting quarterback in place of Smith. He was serviceable in his duties taking over until he fractured his right fibula. Now the team is down to Mark Sanchez as the starting quarterback.
The team is at their wit’s end with what they’re going to do for their future at the most important position in football. And with the serious injuries for both Smith and McCoy, it’s likely that they need to think about other options outside of the quarterback responsible for the Butt Fumble.
The team could take a chance on Blake Bortles and what he brings to the passing offense. The team has an outstanding offensive line and they will have 2018 NFL Draft standout Derrius Guice coming back from injury.
Jay Gruden is always trying to get the most out of his quarterbacks to win games. And that would likely happen with Bortles if they can provide more weapons for him at receiver.