Blake Bortles says he used Tom Brady as a model when negotiating his new contract...— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) July 13, 2018
"To take up a ton of money, you kinda limit your team w/ who they can put around you" @Jaguars
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Back in February, Bortles inked a 3-year, $54 million deal to remain with the Jaguars and he claims he took that $18 million per season deal because he wants to share the wealth- just like Tom did with the Patriots.
“I think definitely the way the Tom has done it is the way to try to model,” Bortles said on SiriusXM. “Having guys and putting pieces around him was definitely something. When you take up a ton of money you kind of limit your team and who they can help you out with and put around you. I’m not naive enough to say that we don’t need a run game. We also need a good defense, we need good receivers, we need all these pieces. You can’t play as a quarterback and do it yourself so I’m more than willing to take less money than somebody else might in my position to put good guys around us.”
Yeah, sure. Bortles accepted $18 million per year because he was thinking about the team, and not because that’s an absurd amount of money and far more than he would have received on the open market.
Bortles is tied with Broncos quarterback Case Keenum as the 19th-highest paid quarterback in the league, just behind the 16th-ranked Tom Brady, 17th-ranked Cardinals quarterback Sam Bradford, and 18th-ranked Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
The only veteran starters that Bortles makes more than are Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton ($16 million), Browns quarterback Tyrod Taylor ($15.25 million), and Jets quarterback Josh McCown ($10 million). Both Taylor and McCown are likely to lose their starting job to a rookie first round pick this season, while Dalton is the entire Bengals organization manifested in a mediocre quarterback.
So Bortles is in the company of journeymen (Taylor, McCown, Bradford), quarterbacks that teams aren’t willing to commit to (Tannehill, Dalton), and then Brady. I’m pretty sure the Jaguars don’t view Bortles in the same category as Touchdown Tom.
That’s not to say that Bortles isn’t absolutely correct. Teams that compete for an extended period of time either benefit from a quarterback on a rookie deal or a quarterback that is simply transcendent. The Patriots and Brady have found a way to combine a transcendent quarterback with a cheaper deal.
For example, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan averages a whopping $30 million per year on his new contract. Meanwhile, the Patriots are able to spread that $30 million across both Brady ($20.5 million per year) and All Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski ($9 million per year) and still have $500,000 left over.
While this is a gross oversimplification of salary cap manipulation, the idea is still correct. And so is Bortles.