Jaguars release Blake Bortles — what's next for veteran QB?

The Jacksonville Jaguars announced on Wednesday that they have released quarterback Blake Bortles.

The Jaguars selected Bortles with the third pick of the 2014 draft, and he has been their starting quarterback since. In five seasons, the Jaguars compiled a 24-49 record in games that Bortles started, a rate the prompted them to make a change at the position this week by agreeing to a four-year $88 million deal with Nick Foles.

The news of Bortles’ release was expected in the wake of the Foles deal.

Bortles averaged 235.5 passing yards per game in Jacksonville while throwing for 103 touchdowns and 75 interceptions with a 59.3 percent completion rate.

The Jaguars remained one of the NFL’s worst teams with Bortles at the helm until 2017, when a powerful defense led Jacksonville to the AFC championship game.

One season too late?

Jacksonville decided last offseason to not make a move at quarterback, despite having a Super Bowl-caliber defense and Bortles having shown no signs of advancement.

His 21 touchdowns and 13 interceptions while throwing for 230.4 yards per game on a 60.2 completion rate during that 10-6 season were numbers largely in line with his career stats.

They signed Bortles to a three-year extension last offseason with $26.5 million in guaranteed money — a deal Bortles will fall two years short of seeing to fruition.

When the Jaguars regressed to 5-11 last season in a campaign that saw Bortles benched for Cody Kessler, Jacksonville finally decided it was time to move on. He won’t stick around to back up Foles.

See players that have switched teams so far this offseason: 

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NFL players who switched teams this offseason
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NFL players who switched teams this offseason

WR Odell Beckham Jr.

Traded from the New York Giants to the Cleveland Browns

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

RB Le'Veon Bell

Left the Pittsburgh Steelers in free agency to sign with the New York Jets

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

QB Joe Flacco

Traded from the Baltimore Ravens to the Denver Broncos

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

QB Case Keenum

Traded from the Denver Broncos to the Washington Redskins

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

WR Antonio Brown

Traded from the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Oakland Raiders

(Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

DE Trey Flowers

Left the New England Patriots in free agency to sign with the Detroit Lions

(Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

OT Trent Brown

Left the New England Patriots in free agency to sign with the Oakland Raiders

(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

WR Danny Amendola

Left the Miami Dolphins in free agency to join the Detroit Lions

(Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images)

S Landon Collins

Left the New York Giants in free agency to sign with the Washington Redskins

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

WR DeSean Jackson

Traded from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the Philadelphia Eagles 

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

OL Terrell Suggs

Left the Baltimore Ravens in free agency to join the Arizona Cardinals

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

RB Frank Gore

Left the Miami Dolphins in free agency to sign with the Buffalo Bills

(Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

QB Nick Foles

Left the Philadelphia Eagles in free agency to sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

LB C.J. Mosley

Left the Baltimore Ravens in free agency to sign with the New York Jets

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

WR Jamison Crowder

Left the Washington Redskins in free agency to sign with the New York Jets

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

TE Jesse James

Left the Pittsburgh Steelers in free agency to sign with the Detroit Lions

(Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

S Eric Weddle

Left the Baltimore Ravens in free agency to sign with the Los Angeles Rams

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

RB Carlos Hyde

Left the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency to sign with the Kansas City Chiefs

(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

DE Michael Bennett

Traded from the Philadelphia Eagles to the New England Patriots

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

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What’s next for Bortles?

Where will Bortles land? Nowhere as a starter. Those days are likely numbered for the former first-round pick out of Central Florida — at least until a team gets desperate enough to give him a chance.

The Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks are among the teams in the market for a backup quarterback.

Brett Hundley just reportedly left his job backing up Russell Wilson for the Arizona Cardinals, leaving Paxton Lynch as the quarterback behind Wilson on the depth chart.

The Broncos will be looking for someone to back up Joe Flacco after dealing Case Keenum to the Washington Redskins.

What about quarterback-desperate Washington? Keenum will presumably compete with Colt McCoy for the starting job barring a move in the draft. Tossing a player like Bortles into the mix doesn’t seem like something Washington wouldn’t do.

Could Bortles follow Hackett to Green Bay?

The Green Bay Packers could be in the mix as well with former Jaguars offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett running the offense for Aaron Rodgers. It would be somewhat of a bizarre move considering Green Bay traded for 2017 second-round pick DeShone Kizer last offseason. But hiring the offensive coordinator of the Jaguars was a strange move too.

The New York Jets could be in the market for a backup to Sam Darnold with 16-year veteran Josh McCown entering free agency and possibly mulling retirement.

Either way, Bortles and the Jaguars have moved on from each other. And that’s good news for all parties involved.

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