With a championship run in their sights for 2019, the Dallas Cowboys want to cover as many bases as possible this offseason. One spot they should look at is backup quarterback, and they might want to consider the soon-to-be available Blake Bortles from Jacksonville.
As reported a few days ago, the Jaguars intend to sign Nick Foles as their new starter and parts way with Bortles. They’re unlikely to find a trade partner given his 2018 play and $14 million base salary, so Jacksonville will probably be releasing Blake fairly soon.
With only the unproven Cooper Rush and Mike White on the QB depth chart now, Dallas could stand to add a player with Bortles’ experience.
True, not all experience is good. Some might argue that the very reasons Jacksonville is discarding Bortles are why the Cowboys and other teams shouldn’t be interested.
However, it’s one thing to no longer want a guy as your starter and another to see him as a capable backup.
No, Blake Bortles has certainly never lived up to being a third overall pick. But he’s also been unfairly maligned as a bust and is better than his mainstream reputation.
Bortles’ issue has been consistency. He threw for over 4400 yards and 35 touchdowns in 2015 but then struggled the following year. He led the Jaguars to the AFC Championship Game in 2017 but then lost his starting job last season.
Ironically, he sounds kind of Nick Foles prior to 2017.
One of the most intriguing aspects of Bortles’ game is his mobility, which makes him a nice backup for Dak Prescott. He could allow the Cowboys to run a lot of the same stuff even if they had to make a sudden switch at quarterback.
With most NFL teams settled at quarterback right now, Blake may not have much hope for a starting job or even competing for one. He might be resigned to having to take a backup role for a year.
One team that might change that is also in the NFC East. With Alex Smith probably out in 2019, the Washington Redskins might want to take a look at Bortles for a one-year deal. However, so far they seem committed to Colt McCoy as their starter if Alex doesn’t return.
So yes, even though he’s the butt of a lot of jokes, Blake Bortles will still be one of the better options in the QB free agent market this year. He’s still in his physical prime and has at least flashed at times the talent that made him an elite draft prospect in 2014.
If Bortles can be had for a bargain, Dallas could significantly strengthen their QB depth chart this offseason by signing him.