And, while the Jaguars could have made a run at quarterback Kirk Cousins once the new league year begins on March 14, they've chose to stick with Bortles. Based on his age and performance, spotrac.com projects that Bortles market value is $21.3 million per year.
The Jaguars signed Bortles to a three-year, $54 million deal Saturday that will keep him under contract through the 2020 season.
In leading the Jaguars within one win of advancing to the Super Bowl, Bortles connected on 60.2 percent of his passes for 3,687 yards and 21 touchdowns with 13 interceptions during the regular season. But I think with Bortles getting this new contract and the average per year at $18 million, I don't think anyone except Cousins can make a case that they've been that much better than Bortles over the past four years that they deserve a bigger contract.
If the Jaguars decided not to sign Bortles to this deal, he was still under contract on a fifth-year option with the team through next season.
Blake Bortles is back, and giving him the max potential of surrounding talent is now of the upmost importance for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He also lost top target Allen Robinson on the opening series of the season opener.
"Blake's growth and development last season was a key to the success we had as a team", Jaguars executive vice-president of football operations Tom Coughlin said.
Blake Bortles might have legitimately turned the corner past year. With Chad Henne set to reach free agency, Bortles was the only quarterback on the roster for the upcoming season and didn't have a deal that kept him on the team in 2019. However, is he the man to take the Jaguars to the next level?
Jacksonville should try to sign a veteran or two in free agency, and then turn to the draft as well to reinforce the inside of the line.
It's certainly not that the offense was bad, but there are positions that must be improved heading into the season. But if Bortles remained healthy, the Jaguars still could have opted to move on and make a change at quarterback - perhaps by chasing Cousins, the three-time 4,000-yard passer for the Washington Redskins, who can become an unrestricted free agent in March.
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