Jameis Winston’s agents had to cringe.
As the Jaguars and QB Blake Bortles announced their agreement Saturday night on his new contract extension, it was something that the signal caller said about his mentality in the negotiations that had to raise an eyebrow.
More on that in a moment.
First, the facts: the Jaguars had already picked up Bortles’ option for the fifth year of his rookie contract, and that option was $19.1 million for 2018. The next important fact, as we wrote about here, is that once Bortles had wrist surgery after the AFC Championship Game, by salary cap rules in the CBA, that money essentially, became guaranteed.
This is because, the Jaguars couldn’t rescind the offer to a player that was injured during the season and then, couldn’t pass a March physical, which after wrist surgery he likely wouldn’t have.
So, while we don’t yet have all the contract specifics, it appears that the truth behind the new three year deal is the Jags were on the hook for $19 million this year. And, they have only guaranteed approximately $7.5 million beyond that for 2019-2020.
Very team friendly.
Then, Bortles, a former #3 overall pick in 2014, made this statement Saturday night:
I oddly like this quote from Bortles:
“Quarterbacks dream of making $100 million dollars and are expected to sign the big deal. That was never something that was very important to me. Signing this second deal with the team that drafted me was my goal from the beginning.”
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) February 25, 2018
That’s where Winston’s people had to shutter.
You see, it’s about to be his turn to try to get more money from the Glazers and the Buccaneers.
Like Bortles in 2017, Winston is a former #1 overall pick, who’s entering the final year of his rookie deal. Will the Bucs pick up the same fifth year option, like Jacksonville did?
Even if they don’t and are looking for the long term agreement, Bortles essentially just told the Jags, and anyone paying attention, that it wasn’t about chasing the most money.
Instead, his mentality was being loyal to the team that drafted you, the fans, staying in the area, etc. meant more.
And Winston was a far more decorated (Heisman winning National Champion) quarterback out of much more popular FSU. He is clearly a fan favorite and the Bucs have made him a “face of the franchise” on ticket ads, billboards, etc.
So, there will be some pressure for him to give Tampa Bay a “hometown discount” or at least have that mentality in negotiating a new deal.
And now, the Bucs and their fans can point to a QB that helped his team win the division, and win playoff games (Winston has done neither, yet). And, point to a QB who was willing to give take less, because he wanted to get the deal done and have security for the next three years.
Now, you can make the strong argument that Winston is a much better/valuable passer and asset.
Not even Bortles’ family could argue that comparison. Maybe, they would try.
Still, it’s all about precedence and what others in a similar position have gotten before you.
Yes, there are massive QB deals for others already in place, but now you have what appears to be, Blake Bortles taking less than $8 million guaranteed in year two and beyond of his new extension.
Rest assured, Jameis Winston won’t agree to that for the Bucs or anywhere else.
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