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Jaguars Could Release QB Blake Bortles If He Loses Starting Role

According to Ian Rapoport, it is a possibility for the Jaguars to release QB Blake Bortles if he fails to win the starting role.

Rapoport’s understanding is that Bortles does not have any kind of commitment from the Jaguars’ ownership, similar to the Redskins’ commitment to Robert Griffin III when he lost the quarterback battle to Kirk Cousins.

The Jaguars declared QB Chad Henne the starting quarterback for their Week 3 preseason game, which is usually a good indicator of who starts the regular season.

Rapoport goes on to say that “it does not make sense” for the Jaguars to play Bortles and risk an injury, which would put them on the hook for $16 million guaranteed due to his fifth-year option.

Rapoport could also see the team trading Bortles if they restructure his contract.

According to OverTheCap.com, the Jaguars could save $6,571,983 in cap space by releasing him. If the elected to trade Bortles, they would free up $3,335,418 and create $3,236,565 in dead money.

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.

The Jaguars picked up his fifth-year option and will run them around $19,053,000 for the 2018 season, according to Joel Corry, and is guaranteed only for injury.

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.

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