According to Mike Garafolo of FOX, the Jacksonville Jaguars have re-signed QB Chad Henne to a two-year deal. The contract is reportedly worth $8 million, with $4.5 million guaranteed in the first year.
In 15 games for the Jags last year, the former Michigan standout completed nearly 61 percent of his passes for 3,241 yards along with 13 touchdowns and 14 picks. Those aren’t atrocious numbers by any means, but he’s not really the guy you want as your starting quarterback if you have any real plans of being a viable team.
Head coach Gus Bradley, who will be entering his second year in charge, has already come out and said that Henne is likely to be the team’s starter entering the season regardless of whether or not the team decides to take another quarterback with the third overall pick in the upcoming draft.
There is also talk that retaining Henne could mean that the Jags pass on a quarterback altogether in the first round, and decide instead to snag one between rounds two and four. Sure, Jacksonville has plenty of holes to fill, but this is a franchise that hasn’t really ever had a top-tier quarterback. Mark Brunell and David Garrard each gave the team some solid seasons, but were never regarded amongst the league’s truly elite at the position.
This draft, as you know, is rife with tantalizing passing talent, particularly at the top of the board. But if the team feels strongly enough about Henne to possibly pass on the likes of Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater or Blake Bortles, then they must not think particularly highly about any of those prospects to begin with.
The offense has a few intriguing talents, but there are question marks about all of them. Maurice Jones-Drew appears to be entering the twilight of his career (if he hasn’t crossed that line already). Justin Blackmon, while he’s clearly an electrifying player, has struggled with off-the-field issues since entering the league, and was suspended for the majority of last season. He started the year with a four-game suspension, and was subsequently suspended again indefinitely for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. While he is eligible to apply for reinstatement prior to the onset of next season, he’s still likely to be slapped with another suspension before he’s allowed to step back on the field. Cecil Shorts was the most consistent offensive force on the team last year, but is he good enough to be a No. 1 option? Seems doubtful.
So, while drafting a quarterback at No. 3 would make plenty of sense on the surface, it may not really be the right decision. Drafting someone like Manziel and surrounding him with inferior talent may crush his confidence, as it appears to have done with 2012’s first-round pick, Blaine Gabbert. The best course of action may be to draft someone else at No. 3 and then wait to grab someone like Derek Carr or Zach Mettenberger later on.