While he ultimately may not be “the” solution to back up QB Blake Bortles this fall, Cleveland’s Cody Kessler is “a” solution and Wednesday afternoon the Jaguars traded for the third year player out of USC.
The Jaguars announced the move on their social media:
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) March 28, 2018
Kessler has eight career NFL starts, and because he played for the Browns, predictably, he’s 0-8. All of those starts came in Cleveland’s 1-15, 2016 season. He played as a reserve in 2017 behind DeShone Kizer, and saw action in three contests. Kessler’s career completion percentage is 64% with 6 touchdowns and 3 INTs.
Jaguars GM Dave Caldwell had this to say in the statement:
“We are excited about the opportunity to add Cody as depth to our quarterback position. Despite being just 24 years old, Cody has already seen NFL game action and was very effective as a rookie in 2016, showing accuracy and efficiency in posting a quarterback rating of 90-plus. From our research and through getting to know Cody during the draft process, we know he is a smart, tough and competitive young man and we expect him to be a great addition to our quarterback and offensive meeting rooms.”
Kessler is a former third round pick of the Browns out of USC.
The Jaguars were in need of a backup QB option after Chad Henne left via free agency for the Kansas City Chiefs two weeks ago. Starter Blake Bortles led the way the entire 2017 season, including Jacksonville’s improbable run to the AFC Championship Game last year. Bortles, according to head coach Doug Marrone on Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, is almost back 100% after minor wrist surgery in January, right after that loss to New England.
The pick for Cleveland is the Jaguars seventh rounder and is conditional for 2019 meaning, meaning it could become at least a sixth rounder, and maybe higher if Kessler plays and succeeds this season.
Again, as we wrote at the top of this item, it’s simply “a” solution at backup QB, and Jacksonville may very well draft a quarterback late in the first round or early come April, too.
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