The Jacksonville Jaguars have always been expected to try and sign veteran backup Chad Henne to a new deal before the start of free agency, and they have also been expected to allow Maurice Jones-Drew to hit free agency. That expectation hasn’t changed, as the Florida Times-Union’s Ryan O’Halloran reports that Jaguars GM David Caldwell informed Henne’s agent that his client will be the only player whom the Jaguars will reach out to prior to the start of free agency. So yeah, that means no MJD and, obviously, no Blaine Gabbert talks.
There is almost no doubt that the Jaguars will take a quarterback in this year’s draft class, and I have a feeling Caldwell is hoping for Teddy Bridgewater at #3. If not, then I’m sure the Jaguars would be perfectly content with selecting in-state product Blake Bortles, and I wonder how much a guy like Derek Carr is in the discussion. There are some who believe the Jaguars will take a second quarterback later on in the draft, and there are others who believe the Jags could even go after a second-tier QB if they are unsatisfied with the QBs at the top. I definitely don’t cater to that believe, because QB is so important and it’s insanely difficult to find a franchise QB when you don’t pick one high in the draft.
Henne is a solid backup to have in this league, but the ideal situation for the Jaguars is to draft a guy like Bridgewater or Bortles and start him from the first day. Justin Blackmon is a question mark due to off-field issues, but there’s no question that Cecil Shorts, Blackmon, Marcedes Lewis, and Ace Sanders would give the team’s next QB a nice group of pass-catchers to throw it to.