April 22, 2018

Blake Bortles benched, Chad Henne will start for Jaguars vs. Panthers

24 August 2017, 03:05 | Lionel James

Blake Bortles benched, Chad Henne will start for Jaguars vs. Panthers

Panthers QB Cam Newton perfect in preseason debut at Jaguars

If the Jaguars opt to go with Henne as the regular-season starter, the team must decide what to do with Bortles.

On Henne's first two pass attempts when the Jaguars started at Tampa Bay's 23-yard line following a long punt return, he was on target to both Keelan Cole and Robinson in the end zone, but neither receiver could hang onto the ball that was momentarily in their hands. It's just simple. I'm not going to try to make this thing complicated. But if Marrone gives Bortles the start, declaring the spot up for grabs would seem false to the locker room and outside observers. The expectation is that a majority of the starters will be playing into the third quarter as the coaching staff prepares their team for the upcoming season. Will Henne and Bortles alternate series? "We feel like we're going to put him in there, so we're excited about seeing him".

"I'm really looking to see the game", he said.

Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone informed Henne and Blake Bortles of the plan on Wednesday, and the team confirmed it Wednesday evening.

You would think that someone 6'5, 236 pounds, with the type of physical tools that he possesses, that Bortles would be ready to add his name to the conversation of up-and-coming young quarterbacks, not only in the league, but within his own division. "We're not going to play any games (about the announcement as to the starter), that we'll get it out to our local people". Newton's throwing shoulder was sore throughout most of training camp but he did look sharp making some intermediate throws in team drills yesterday.

Blake Bortles benched, Chad Henne will start for Jaguars vs. Panthers
Blake Bortles benched, Chad Henne will start for Jaguars vs. Panthers

In two preseason games, Bortles has completed 11-of-18 passes for just 65 yards (4.5 yards per completion).

Giving the job to Henne would all but guarantee Bortles plays elsewhere in 2018, given his scheduled $19 million salary in the final year of his contract.

Putting Henne in is far from a comfortable solution for the Jaguars, though.

The other option would be cutting Bortles, which would be yet another miss on a first-round draft pick for a franchise that hasn't had a winning record since 2007 and has finished with double-digit losses for six consecutive seasons. If he can't beat out Henne, it's hard to imagine teams dealing for the young quarterback with his fifth-year number being guaranteed for injury.

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