The Seattle Seahawks hosted former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles for a tryout on October 12, per the NFL transaction wire. ESPN’s Brady Henderson reported the Seahawks do not plan to sign Bortles as of now, which likely means Jake Luton will move up to the active roster as the team’s backup quarterback behind Geno Smith during Russell Wilson’s absence.
“The Seahawks worked out Blake Bortles this morning,” Henderson tweeted on October 12. “They’re not expected to sign him at this time, I’m told. They’ll need to make some move at QB whether it’s elevating Jake Luton to back up Geno Smith and/or adding someone else.”
Bortles was selected by the Jaguars with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. The veteran quarterback was the starter in Jacksonville during his first five NFL seasons. Bortles’ best statistical season came in 2015 when the quarterback threw for 4,428 yards, 35 touchdowns and 18 interceptions while completing 58.6% of his passes.
The quarterback last played in an NFL game for the Rams in 2019 making three appearances. Bortles also had brief stints with the Packers and Broncos but is now a free agent.
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Luton Is Expected to be the Seahawks Backup Quarterback in Wilson’s Absence
Seattle protected Luton along with tight end Ryan Izzo to prevent either player from being poached from the practice squad by another team heading into Week 6. Barring a late quarterback addition, the Seahawks are expected to elevate Luton to the active roster.
“The Seahawks used practice-squad protections this week on QB Jake Luton and TE Ryan Izzo, per the transaction wire,” Henderson noted on Twitter. “That ensures them the option of promoting Luton to their active roster to back up Geno Smith Sunday night in Pittsburgh. No other team can sign him in the meantime.”
The Seahawks Are Not Expected to Sign Cam Newton
Bortles’ workout shows the Seahawks could add another quarterback as insurance behind Smith. However, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported the Seahawks do not plan to make a major move at quarterback. Instead, the Seahawks plan to ride with Smith for as long as Wilson is sidelined.
“The early world out of Seattle is that they’re going to go with Geno Smith,” Fowler detailed. “They’re not going to look to the street free agent route like a Cam Newton or trade for a Nick Foles. They believe they can win with this guy. I’m told that they’re going to have to kind of limit the explosive plays. It’s not like Russell Wilson where he can just rail off three touchdowns in two minutes, it’s a little different.
“But a source I talked to over there said, hey maybe this is a little bit of a Frank Reich situation with the Buffalo Bills in the early 90s when he came in for [starting quarterback] Jim Kelly, won three in a row. Maybe he can spark them a little bit.”
Wilson Is Targeting a Week 10 Return
While the Seahawks have not released an official return timeline for Wilson, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the star quarterback is targeting Week 10.
“My understanding after very successful surgery on Friday, Russell Wilson is targeting Week 10 against the Green Bay Packers as his return date,” Rapoport explained. “If it’s not that day, it’s likely Week 11 against the Arizona Cardinals. That is [the] best-case scenario. So, that would mean Wilson misses four weeks, but it’s after a bye, so he could only miss three games.”