Former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Rams on Monday afternoon. Bortles will now be the back up to Jared Goff.
The Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens were two other teams who were also interested in Bortles, but once Bortles visited L.A., he knew that is where he wanted to be.
“You know, kind of weighing the options that I had prior to going and meeting with anybody — this was the first visit I took — the Rams were the one that stood out to me, kind of the place I wanted to be, and what I thought would be best, personally, for me joining a good football team,” Bortles said on the team’s website. “So kind of when I was around the building talking to people, it really just solidified that. And I got off the phone with my agent and was kind of like, ‘This is where I want to be and where I think is best for me.’”
Bortles’ career in Jacksonville was up-and-down, to say the least. He set the single-season franchise record for passing yards (4,428) and passing touchdowns (35) in his second season (the team still finished 5-11) but followed up with a horrendous 2016 season. He threw 16 interceptions and the Jaguars won just three games that year.
Bortles has been on the hot seat a number of times in Jacksonville. The 2017 season seemed to give him another chance when the team managed to make the AFC Championship game.
However, after a disappointing season in 2018 where the team finished 5-11 (3-9 with Bortles as the starter), it was all but certain that Bortles played his last game as a Jaguar. Once the Jaguars signed former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, it became a certainty that Bortles would be on his way out.
Bortles officially parted ways with the Jaguars last Wednesday when he was released. In his five seasons since being the third overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Bortles finished with a career record of 24-49 as a starter. In his career, Bortles completed less than 60 percent of his passes and has a TD-INT ratio of 103-75.
For the Rams, Bortles may actually be a nice addition. Bortles is considered a veteran at this point and has some playoff experience. With the Rams back-up from last year, Sean Mannion, becoming a free agent, picking up a quarterback that has starting experience as a replacement back-up is a smart move.
Luckily for the Rams, Goff has been a durable quarterback in his time in the NFL. Last season, Goff started every game for the Rams, and only seven of the passes for the Rams were thrown by other players, four of which were by punter Johnny Hekker.
If something were to happen to Goff, Bortles should be capable of holding down the fort short-term, especially with Todd Gurley as his running back. If not, the Rams are only tied to him for one season and can move on if things don’t work out.
Bortles is second in Jaguars history in passing yards (17,646) and passing touchdowns (103). He is one of only 15 quarterbacks to eclipse 100 touchdowns since he entered the league in 2014. He also leads all quarterbacks in interceptions (75) and all players in turnovers (94) in that span.