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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars 2018 Position Group Breakdown: Quarterback

Zach Goodall

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Jan 21, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) reacts against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars entered the 2018 offseason with a huge question mark at the quarterback position that needed to be, and was, answered quickly: Would the team pursue an upgrade over Blake Bortles.

If you haven’t been paying attention, spoiler alert: They didn’t.

Rather than pursuing Kirk Cousins or Case Keenum in free agency, or trying to move up for a draft prospect such as Josh Rosen or Baker Mayfield, the Jaguars opted to give Bortles a three year, $54 million contract extension: He will be the team’s signal caller for the forseeable future.

Whether you’re a fan of the extension and Bortles’ being the quarterback or not, there are factors in this decision that make a ton of sense. In terms of average salary per year, Bortles’ deal ranks 20th of all NFL quarterbacks, averaging $17,483,500 a year. Compare that to Matt Ryan’s new deal (five years, $150 million, the largest deal in NFL history), averaging $30 million a year: The difference between the two averages ($12,516,500) nearly covers new Jaguars guard Andrew Norwell’s average yearly salary ($13,300,000).

In extending Bortles on a fair deal rather than chasing the very expensive free agent QB market, the Jaguars were able to hold onto a scheme-comfortable, albeit average at best, quarterback and sign an All-Pro left guard to fill a major need along the offensive line. The deal was finanically smart for both sides.

Projected quarterback depth chart

*Note: Italics = starter, Underline = Acquired in 2018 FA/draft*

QB: Blake Bortles, Cody KesslerTanner Lee

Barring injury, Bortles will undoubtedbly be the starter heading into the 2018 season. Kessler was acquired from the Cleveland Browns for a conditional 2019 7th round pick. In two seasons with the Browns, he completed 63.8% of his passes for 1506 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions in 12 games (eight starts). He isn’t flashy by any means, but he should have no issue holding onto the #2 QB spot with his experience, and could be used in a pinch as he meshes well with the West Coast passing concepts incorporated into the Jaguars’ offense.

Lee is a project quarterback with a big arm but accuracy and decision making issues. The team selected him in the sixth round of this year’s draft out of Nebraska, where he started for a year after transferring from Tulane. In three seasons, Lee posted a 55.2 competion percentage, 6744 passing yards, 46 touchdowns and 37 interceptions.

If I was a GM, I wouldn’t have drafted Lee. I just don’t see enough potential to overcome his clear issues. He might not even make the roster this year, but since the team used a draft pick on him, I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and mark him down as the team’s third quarterback.

The Jaguars’ QB room was certainly shaken up this offseason, as Chad Henne is no longer in town and Cody Kessler and Tanner Lee are here to cover his backup duties. However, the most important takeaway from how the Jaguars’ handled the signal-caller position this offseason is that Blake Bortles is going to be this team’s quarterback in 2018 and likely for a while.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars vs. Patriots Week Two Inactives: Fournette Out, Campbell Starts

Demetrius Harvey

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Aug 18, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Calais Campbell (93) reacts during the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars and the New England Patriots have released their inactive lists for the game today.  For the Jaguars star running back, Leonard Fournette is out today with a hamstring injury. However, Calais Campbell who was added late to the injury report with a knee injury is expected to start today.

There was speculation before the game that Campbell could be out. It is possible the Jaguars limit his snaps this week.

Jaguars running back TJ Yeldon will start ahead of Fournette. Corey Grant will also look to get in on the fun after only having one touch last week against the Giants.

JAGUARS INACTIVE REPORT

One surprise on the Jaguars inactive list is rookie linebacker, Leon Jacobs. Although he was injured this week with the ankle injury, he was thought to have been progressing. Look for linebacker Larentee McCray to take his place at SAM linebacker.

 

PATRIOTS INACTIVE REPORT

 

For the Patriots they are without their starting right tackle in Marcus Cannon. They also get back their starting running back in Rex Burkhead as well as their first-round pick, rookie running back Sony Michel.

 

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars Promote Running Back Brandon Wilds, Release WR Rashad Greene

Demetrius Harvey

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Aug 30, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back runs the ball Brandon Wilds (38) in the first quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

According to Mark Long of the Associated Press, the Jacksonville Jaguars today have promoted Running Back Brandon Wilds from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. As a corresponding move, the Jaguars have released veteran Wide Receiver Rashad Greene Sr.

This move should not come as too much of a surprise as starting running back Leonard Fournette has been nursing an injured hamstring all week, and TJ Yeldon was added to the injury report yesterday with an ankle injury.

The move might indicate that either Fournette will not be playing in tomorrows matchup against the New England Patriots, or Wilds will simply be insurance in case the star running back goes down again. Either way, it is something to keep an eye on as the Jaguars announce their inactive report around 90 minutes prior to kickoff tomorrow.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars vs. Patriots: Friday Injury Reports, Fournette Questionable

Demetrius Harvey

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Aug 9, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette (27) takes a handoff from quarterback Blake Bortles (5) during the first quarter against the New Orleans Saints at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars and the New England Patriots have officially released their Friday game status injury reports ahead of their week two matchup in Jacksonville, Florida. For the Jaguars coming into this game against the Patriots, all eyes have been on star running back Leonard Fournette as he nurses a hamstring injury. Today, the Jaguars officially listed him as questionable. Fournette has not been able to practice the entire week and will have to prove to the Jaguars training staff as well as the coaching staff he is good to go.

If Fournette is not cleared look for TJ Yeldon to take over as the Jaguars starting running back this weekend. It is also likely the Jaguars would elevate running back Brandon Wilds from the practice squad as they currently only have two running backs besides Fournette on the 53-man roster. Corey Grant would also more than likely receive his bulk of the carries in the event Fournette cannot go.

As for the rest of the Jaguars players, the only player who was a late addition to the Jaguars injury report was running back TJ Yeldon. He, however, will play this Sunday as that injury has seemingly been deemed minor.

Below are the Jaguars and Patriots official gameday statuses:

JAGUARS:

 

PATRIOTS:

QUESTIONABLE
RB Rex Burkhead – Concussion (Limited participant)
T Marcus Cannon – Calf (Limited participant)
DB Keion Crossen – Hamstring (Limited participant)
RB Sony Michel – Knee (Limited participant)

For the Patriots their most notable players on the injury report are running backs Burkhead and Michel along with tackle Marcus Cannon. Burkhead being out this week against the Jaguars for the Patriots is notable due to the lack of weapons at the running back position. If Burkhead and Michel cannot go the Patriots will likely lean on running back James White for the bulk of the carries. I would, however, anticipate at least one of the two running backs to be active this Sunday.

If Marcus Cannon is out this week, then the Patriots will turn to LaAdrian Waddle at the right tackle position. Waddle is a journeyman and more than likely would struggle against the Jaguars front four.

For the Jaguars as well as the Patriots both teams are relatively healthy. The areas to watch will continue to be the running back positions and how the Jaguars, as well as the Patriots, handle the situation. With Fournette as a true game-time decision, keep a close eye on the Jaguars inactive report 90 minutes before kickoff this Sunday.

 

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