The release of Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles wasn’t a surprise. And after the team came to terms with Nick Foles, it was essentially a foregone conclusion. But once the move was made, it opened the door for Bortles to make a decision on his future which will best benefit his longterm outlook.
Bortles, who’s just 26 years old, spent five seasons with the Jaguars after being the No. 3 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. His best season came in 2015 when he threw for 4,428 yards, 35 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. Over 75 games with the team, Bortles completed 59.3 percent of his passes for 17,646 yards and 103 touchdowns.
While he struggled at times, including throwing 75 interceptions and fumbling 29 times, there’s an obvious market for a young quarterback with upside. He’s drawing interest, but the decision on where he goes may come down to how he wants to approach his future.
Philadelphia Eagles Interested in Blake Bortles
It’s a fit that makes sense, but one source told me that the Philadelphia Eagles have interest in Bortles. The magnitude of the interest is unknown, and there’s an obvious argument that they may not be the most appealing option, considering Philly already has a young signal-caller in Carson Wentz.
Regardless, if Bortles views the situation as a spot where he may have a future (that’s a tough argument to make) then the Eagles could be in the mix. Realistically, it’d be hard to place them as a top option above a few other teams where he’d have the chance to be groomed as a future starter in the near future.
New England Patriots & Pittsburgh Steelers Make Sense for Bortles
There hasn’t been much linking Bortles to the New England Patriots, but if he’s willing to be patient and learn behind Tom Brady, he could have a future in Foxborough. While Brady isn’t showing any interest in calling it a career anytime soon, the Patriots and the future Hall-of-Fame quarterback will have a tough call to make in the near future.
If the Patriots were to wave the idea of Bortles replacing Brady down the line, that’s an appealing sell for any quarterback. Even if the star signal-caller receives a short-term contract extension, there’s still an avenue to selling Bortles on the fit which makes sense.
The same can be said for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Obviously, things changed a bit with Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell leaving town, but Ben Roethlisberger has tossed out the idea of retirement on numerous occasions before. The question becomes, how many seasons does Big Ben want to continue playing for?
Mike Tomlin and company could use the same pitch to Bortles as the Patriots, and there’s still a decent amount of young talent in Pittsburgh. Between JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner alone, the situation with the Steelers has appeal.