A few weeks after the Jacksonville Jaguars drafted their next hopeful franchise quarterback, one of their latest attempts has signed with a new squad.
Former Jaguars starting quarterback and No. 3 overall pick Blake Bortles officially signed with the Green Bay Packers on Thursday, becoming the latest former Jaguar to find a new home in the NFC North.
Bortles was drafted by the Jaguars with the third pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Jaguars' last first-round experiment before they ultimately selected Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence at No. 1 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.
In Green Bay, Bortles will be reunited with two other former Jaguars who played a big part in Jacksonville's run to the 2017 AFC Championship game. Packers offensive coordinator Nate Hackett was the Jaguars' offensive coordinator from 2016-2018, including Bortles' best season in 2017. Lewis, meanwhile, was the Jaguars' top red zone receiving threat and was a major factor in the 2017 postseason.
Overall, Bortles' landing in Green Bay this late in the offseason does suggest something about the Jaguars' evaluation of him in 2014 and beyond. Despite being a former No. 3 pick with playoff experience and 73 career regular-season starts, Bortles was a backup passer with the Los Angeles Rams in 2019, bounced around the active roster and practice squad with Denver in 2020, and was a free agent until mid-May this season.
With that said, perhaps Bortles could have an inside track to a spot on the Packers' 53-man roster in the event Aaron Rodgers is traded at some point before Week 1.
Bortles spent five years with the Jaguars (2014-2018), starting 76 games and going 26-50 in the process. He completed 59.3% of his passes for 17,646 yards, 103 touchdowns, and 75 interceptions.
Bortles is second in career touchdown passes and passing yards in Jaguars history, behind only Mark Brunell. Bortles is the only quarterback in Jacksonville history to throw for more than 3,500 passing yards and 20 touchdowns in consecutive seasons.