The Washington Redskins have officially moved on from free-agent quarterback Kirk Cousins after working out a blockbuster trade to acquire Alex Smith from the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Redskins agreed to send 22-year-old cornerback Kendall Fuller and a third-round pick for the Chiefs signal-caller.
Washington will now be responsible for the hefty $71 million in guaranteed money over four years for the 34-year-old Smith.
With Cousins out of a job, the Jacksonville Jaguars emerged as a potential suitor.
I think Cousins now in play in Jacksonville
— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) January 31, 2018
The Jags’ current QB, Blake Bortles, has often received criticism for his lackluster play and poor decision-making. However, this postseason, Bortles played like a seasoned vet, throwing for 594 yards and three touchdowns before the Jaguars lost a heart-breaker to the Patriots in Foxborough.
The 25-year-old recently underwent surgery on his right wrist (throwing hand). The good news is Bortles is expected to make a full recovery, but would Cousins be a better option for the young Jaguars team?
After all, Cousins has proved himself to be a better quarterback than Bortles, consistently throwing for more than 4,000 passing yards since becoming a regular starter in 2015 following an injury to Robert Griffin III. Cousins’ career quarterback rating is 93.7, while Bortles’ is 80.8.
Despite the numbers, the Jaguars are adamant about keeping Bortles at the helm, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.
“I know people talk about them potentially being in the free agent quarterback mix,” Rapoport said Wednesday. “To my understanding, Blake Bortles is their quarterback. So no, this shouldn’t affect them at all.”
While many question Bortles’ ability to play at a high level, the Jaguars seem to believe their quarterback can get the job done.
It also helps when you have the support of your teammates, which was evident after the Seahawks’ Earl Thomas called Bortles a “subpar quarterback.” The Jaguars’ Leonard Fournette and Calais Campbell took to Bortles’ defense, calling him a “top five” quarterback and saying he “looks like Tom Brady these last couple games.”
Having an impressive running game coupled with the best defense in the league certainly makes a quarterback’s life easier.
The Jaguars were ranked first overall in passing yards allowed per game (169.9) and second in total points per game (16.8) and total yards (286.1).
Jacksonville has $20.1 million in cap space in 2018, according to Spotrac.
Instead of signing a free agent quarterback like Cousins to a big contract, the Jaguars apparently will look to spend money to address other positions.
According to CBS Sports, the team’s biggest areas of need are wide receiver, offensive line, linebacker — and possibly quarterback.
“This was supposed to be the offseason that the Jaguars jettisoned Blake Bortles and found a quarterback that could serve as the final piece of a Super Bowl run, but Bortles’ improved play over the second half of the season and in the playoffs could cause the team to press pause on finding a successor and ride out the final year of his contract,” it said.
Jacksonville also will look to shore up those areas in the draft; it has the 29th overall pick.
Look for the Jaguars to storm right back to the playoffs next season as their core of young talent will only get better as they gain experience.
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