"This is a smart business decision for the team for several reasons," Jaguars executive vice president Tom Coughlin said in a statement. "It makes sense for us going forward and it's good for Blake and for the Jaguars."
This was not a difficult decision. During his breakout sophomore year, Bortles was one of the higher-ceilinged quarterbacks in the NFL before a regression in Year 3. Because the option is only guaranteed for injury, the Jaguars can quickly cut ties if Bortles' slide continues. If he bounces back, they have another season with an affordable passer under center.
The Jaguars were an obvious candidate to select LSU running back Leonard Fournette from Day 1 given how the power back can aid Bortles and negate some of their trouble up front. However, the pre-draft rumor mill, which at times associated Jacksonville with a passer, clouded some opinions on the eventual move.
If nothing else, this should be interpreted as cautious confidence that Bortles can regain his footing and recapture the smoother mechanics that aided his rise in Jacksonville. Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone is among his biggest champions at the moment, which cannot hurt.