Former Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles says he ‘quietly’ retired

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Quarterback Blake Bortles, who led the Jacksonville Jaguars to a division title and the AFC Championship Game after the 2017 season, says he has retired.

Bortles, the No. 3 overall in 2014, announced his retirement on an episode of the podcast Pardon My Take.

“I quietly … I didn’t tell anyone, I retired,” he said Wednesday when asked if he was in good shape to sign with an NFL team. “I guess you’re the first to hear it publicly.”

Bortles had a career of ups and downs with the Jaguars. He is second in Jaguars history in passing yards (17,646) and passing touchdowns (103) in 72 starts. His inconsistency was why the franchise decided to move on and signed Nick Foles to free agency in March 2019.

Bortles set single-season franchise records in passing yards (4,428) and passing touchdowns (35) in his sophomore season, but he followed up with a disastrous year in 2016. Its mechanics – particularly its extended delivery – deteriorated. He threw 16 interceptions, including three pick sixes. He was admittedly a bit of a mental mess. And the Jaguars only won three games.

The first part of the 2017 season wasn’t much better. Bortles had a five-interception practice early in training camp and was pulled from a practice days later. Coach Doug Marrone opened up the quarterback job after Bortles’ dismal performance in the second game of the preseason.

But Bortles regained the job, played solidly but not spectacularly for much of the season, was the league’s top-rated QB for three weeks in December, and then played turnoverless football in three playoff games. He completed 60% of his passes for the first time and cut his turnovers significantly (16, five fewer than his average over his first three seasons).

Bortles’ playoff performance — 594 yards, three TD passes and no turnovers in the Jaguars’ trek to the AFC Championship Game — following his improvement in the regular season was the reason for the front office’s decision to sign him for a three-pointer $54 million one-year extension with a $26.5 million guarantee.

Bortles struggled in 2018 and was benched twice before management because he thought the Jaguars were a consistent quarterback game far from being a contender, Foles signed.

Bortles played in three games with the Los Angeles Rams in 2019, completing one of three passes for 50 yards. He also spent time with the Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, and New Orleans Saints. Former Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles says he ‘quietly’ retired

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