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Jaguars Extend Blake Bortles Through 2020
As Florida Times-Union staffer Ryan O'Halloran reported, the Jaguars addressed one of their biggest off-season question marks tonight, announcing they have signed quarterback Blake Bortles to a contract extension through 2020.

Bortles was scheduled to be due $19 million had the Jaguars picked up his 2018 contract option by March 14. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Bortles' new three-year deal is for $54 million deal (and worth up to $66.5 million with incentives) and includes $26.5 million guaranteed.

With the announcement, speculation surrounding the Jaguars interest in acquiring a high-end free-agent QB like Kirk Cousins goes by the wayside.

According to's Mike Florio, the "Jags explored veteran free agents, decided they were too expensive, and got Bortles done at a rate that lets them pay other players."

Bortles, who turns 26 on April 28, underwent right wrist surgery last month. Now that the Jaguars have announced their intention to keep him, the deadline for him to pass a physical (March 14) is also a non-story.

Bortles, the third overall pick in 2014, has a 21-40 regular season record and a 2-1 playoff mark.

Of course, as the Sports Xchange recently put it, "Up, down. High, low. Hot, cold. All are terms to describe Bortles' (2017) season."

Indeed, when he was on (five games with a passer rating of 119.8 or better) he was really good. But when he was off (five games of 60.3 or worse), the Jaguars either lost or had to rely on the defense to pull out a win. He had four games with more than 300 passing yards, but had four others with less than 160.

But O'Halloran noted tonight that Bortles showed strides in 2017 even though he was without his top receiver (Allen Robinson) for all but three plays, rookie tailback Leonard Fournette (ankle) was hobbled for the final half of the season, his left tackle (Cam Robinson) was also a rookie and he had to lean on unproven receivers Keelan Cole, Dede Westbrook and Jaydon Mickens to make plays down the stretch.

O'Halloran added that inside the Jaguars’ organization, Bortles earned praise for his toughness (playing through the wrist injury), athleticism (using his legs in the playoff win against Buffalo when the passing game broke down) and leadership (raising the level of play of those around him).

In the regular season, Bortles has 90 touchdowns and 64 interceptions. He had three touchdowns and no interceptions in three playoff games in 2017.

In 2015, Bortles threw a franchise record 35 touchdowns. But his numbers regressed in 2016 (23 touchdowns/16 interceptions), setting up a improve-or-else 2017 season. As O'Halloran reminded readers, Bortles’ uneven training camp this past summer bottomed out in the second preseason game, after which head coach Doug Marrone opened up the quarterback competition.

Veteran backup Chad Henne started the next week against Carolina, but Bortles was named the Week 1 starter and ended up with 60.2 completion percentage -- which was his career-high (after he was at 58.9, 58.6 and 58.9 his first three years).

In the Jaguars’ run to the AFC title game, Bortles was 49-of-85 passing for 594 yards.

A strong rushing attack helped. So did one of the league's best and most dangerous scoring defenses.

And perhaps both of those issues were factors in going forward with Bortles as their QB of choice the next three seasons.

Whatever the case, fantasy football owners should expect the same Bortles we've come to know over his first three season. Capable of both high-end production and maddeningly poor showings on any given Sunday. One thing we shouldn't expect, however: With the upgraded, talented and still ascending defense, those big garbage time totals we used to get from the QB when they Jags were playing from behind late in games seem less likely to be a fixture in the future.