Tue. May 26th, 2020

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Blake Bortles makes sense as backup to Russell…

2 min read
Blake Bortles makes sense as backup to Russell...


Since 2015, the Seattle Seahawks have cycled through a new backup quarterback each season. Russell Wilson’s impeccable record of health prevented any backup from seeing the field, and they all move on after a year – likely looking for more opportunity to play elsewhere.

That seems like the most likely case with 2019’s backup, Geno Smith, who is an undrafted free agent. While he could return, the assumption is that Seattle will once again hold a training camp competition to find Wilson’s clipboard holder in 2020.

P.J. Walker of the XFL was a strong option before he signed with Carolina, and many felt Marcus Mariota was a good option before he signed with Las Vegas.

Jameis Winston could be a fit if he is willing to take a job as a backup, and the salary of a backup, although that may be more of a dream scenario for Seattle than an actual reality.

We know Pete Carroll loves guys with pedigree, often targeting former first round picks for the backup QB spot. That’s why Blake Bortles, who is a free agent after spending last season with the Rams, is an appealing option for Carroll and the Seahawks.

Bortles was the third overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft after starring at Central Florida. Similar to Winston, Bortles showed off a lot of the skills that made him such a high profile prospect, throwing for 4,428 yards and 35 touchdowns as a 23-year-old in 2015 – while also leading the league with 18 interceptions and 51 sacks.

He led Jacksonville to a 10-6 record in 2017, completing 60.2% of his passes for 3,687 yards but with a rather pedestrian 21-to-13 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

Bortles started 12 games in 2018 before he became a free agent and was forced to settle for a cheap one-year deal in Los Angeles backing up Jared Goff last year.

It seems likely he will have to settle for a backup role once again in 2020, barring an injury in training camp.

Seattle is an appealing option to be a backup for the opportunity to learn from Wilson and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, a long time quarterbacks coach. Of course, the money would be minimal, and the opportunity for playing time is limited thanks to Wilson’s iron man status.

Whether Bortles will want to come into that situation remains to be seen, but it seems likely Carroll and company will pursue him on the open market, once they take care of some other things on the to-do list.

Blake Bortles makes sense as backup to Russell Wilson

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