The Jacksonville Jaguars are coming off an impressive victory at Heinz Field over the Pittsburgh Steelers this past Sunday. Their defense dominated, Leonard Fournette carried the load offensively, and the Jags sent Steelers fans home early. The clear takeaway from this game is that Jacksonville’s defensive backfield may be the most talented in the league. Sure, their run defense is pretty awful, but even their defensive line is very threatening at getting to the quarterback. However, there is something else that people can clearly see from their five games played this season. And that is imagining how much better they’d be if their quarterback was better than Blake Bortles.
The NFL trade deadline falls on October 31 this year. The Jaguars have their bye on Week 8, which just so happens to be the weekend of said deadline. With all the positives that can be taken from what we’ve seen out of this Jacksonville Jaguars team, there has been one glaring negative, and that’s the play from the quarterback position. Blake Bortles simply isn’t consistent enough to keep this team afloat long-term. We have seen already this season that he can single-handedly lose games for this team. Whether the interceptions, incompetence of throwing a spiral, or his passes getting batted at the line of scrimmage, the Jaguars would really excel with a simply average, reliable game manager. This is something that the coaches and managers should have noticed during camp or preseason, but is now clearly evident. Is it too late to make a move that can potentially save the season?
The answer is that it’s never too late to bring in a new quarterback if it’s a clear upgrade in personnel. Rumors have been surfacing that Eli Manning could be a possible trade target for the Jags, and that would honestly be a very smart trade for this team. The team has used its draft picks in recent years and done well outside of finding a franchise quarterback through the NFL Draft. Now may be the time to trade multiple picks for a proven leader at the position, a player who’s not only been to a Super Bowl, but who’s actually won it. This roster is very good right now, in this moment. Next season, the Jaguars could draft a quarterback and have him not turn out to be the future like their past picks. Or the quarterback will need plenty of time to develop. It is time to make a move now in Jacksonville. As long as they can avoid giving up any first-round picks, this is a serious situation that the Jaguars should be interested in.
If Manning doesn’t become available, there are still plenty of other good options out there. Test the reserve of the New England Patriot’s and go after Jimmy Garoppolo. Maybe Philip Rivers will be looking to be a serious playoff contender before his career ends. There are options available in this league that would be an immediate upgrade for the Jaguars, and likely increase their chances drastically of making the playoffs. And don’t worry about a quarterback not being capable of learning the playbook in enough time. Look at how Jacoby Brissett has fared since joining the Indianapolis Colts. It’s not impossible, and with their bye week ahead, a move here could really change the direction and perception of this organization for the better.
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