The Jacksonville Jaguars announced Monday that they’ve picked up QB Blake Bortles‘ fifth-year option.
“This is a smart business decision for the team for several reasons,” said Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin. “It makes sense for us going forward and it’s good for Blake and for the Jaguars.”
This comes as a surprise, considering the cost and the fact that Bortles really struggled last year. In fact, there was some buzz that the Jaguars may look to draft a quarterback to replace Bortles as high as No. 4 overall.
The fifth-year option will run the Jaguars around $19,053,000 for the 2018 season, according to Joel Corry, but is guaranteed only for injury and won’t prevent them from working on a long-term extension over the next year.
Either way, it’s clear that Bortles is entering a make or break season for the Jaguars in 2017.
Bortles, 24, was taken with the No. 3 overall pick by the Jaguars back in 2014. He’s currently in the final year of his four-year, $20,654,796 rookie contract and stands to make a base salary of $3,236,565 for the 2017 season.
In 2016, Bortles appeared in all 16 games and threw for 3,905 yards while completing 58.9 percent of his passes to go along with 23 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 28 quarterback out of 34 qualifying players.