NFL free agency rumors: Jaguars expected to release QB Blake Bortles

Jaguars bench QB Blake Bortles as struggles continue

Blake Bortles may not be with the Jaguars much longer.

Jacksonville is expected to release the 26-year-old quarterback, according to a report from ESPN. The team is the front-runner to land free-agent quarterback Nick Foles and believes it will sign him when the new league year begins next week, the report says.

Bortles completed 60.3 percent of his passes and threw for 13 touchdowns, along with 11 interceptions, for Jacksonville last season. The Jaguars went just 3-9 in his starts and he was benched in favor of backup Cody Kessler.

Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell said last week the team was evaluating the quarterback position and Bortles remained “in the mix” to be its starter.

“The goal is to put the best team on the field,” Caldwell told reporters at the NFL combine. “Obviously, the quarterback is a key part of that, but we have to make sure we have the best team — we have the best offense, the best defense. The quarterback will slide in place when it is time for that player to come in place.

“It may not be until the draft, it may be through free agency, but when that time comes we want to make sure we have the best team offensively and defensively around that position.”

The Jaguars selected Bortles out of UCF with the third pick in the 2014 draft, but he has struggled during his time with the team. He holds just a 24-49 record as a starter while tallying 103 touchdowns and 75 interceptions in 75 career games.

Bortles led the Jaguars to the playoffs in 2017 and signed a three-year, $54 million extension before regressing last season.