Is Gardner Minshew really the future in Jacksonville?

Jacksonville Jaguars

If the Jacksonville Jaguars do what many expect them to do by giving Gardner Minshew the keys to the offense, would it be the right decision?

Out with the old, in with the new. That’s the path the Jacksonville Jaguars could be taking with Nick Foles and Gardner Minshew soon.

After signing Foles to a four-year, $88 million contract this past offseason, that experiment seems to be coming to an end soon. Per an ESPN report by Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler, Jacksonville seems to want to move forward with Gardner Minshew as its starting quarterback. This would end things with Foles after just one season — and one in which he didn’t even play the full year.

Foles’ contract isn’t ideal, yet the team will likely be determined to find a suitor willing to take it on. He’s nothing more than a fringe starter at this point in his career, so that quest will be a difficult one. Sending him elsewhere could help net draft capital, something the Jags are already flush with.

After subbing in for an injured Foles during a Week 1 matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs, Minshew put together an impressive 2019 season. In 14 games (12 starts), he posted a 91.2 passer rating with 21 touchdowns and just 6 interceptions. He also contributed to the Jags’ only six wins of the year.

Although he certainly stepped in and shocked the world as a sixth-round pick out of Washington State, is Minshew the quarterback of the future for the Jaguars? Considering he’ll be 24 years old at the beginning of the 2020 season, he’s plenty young enough to fit into what the franchise wants to do over the next few years. He’ll be able to grow with the team.

More importantly, Minshew fits the new style of quarterback currently taking the NFL by storm. He’s more than capable of getting out of the pocket and extending plays with his legs — the polar opposite of Foles. His arm strength was a concern heading into the draft but he showed in year one that he’s got more than enough of it to stick around.

Even if Minshew isn’t a bonafide superstar, he’s already an exciting young quarterback on a cheap contract. Teams love those, and they’re easy to build around. While he has some things to work on this offseason (consistency, timing, general accuracy), some improvement should come with experience.

With Foles eventually out of the picture, it will soon be Gardner Minshew’s time to shine in Jacksonville. As the team attempts to rebuild on the fly while allowing its young signal-caller to grow, look for the soon-to-be second-year man to silence a lot of doubters.

He’s the long-term answer for the Jaguars.

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