Blake Bortles, Former Jacksonville Jaguars QB, Announces NFL Retirement

by Chris Haney
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles officially announced his retirement from the NFL. The No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft quietly hung up his cleats bringing an end to his eight-year pro career.

Bortles joined Barstool Sports’ Pardon My Take podcast earlier today. At one point, the hosts of the show asked the QB about his health and if he was ready to sign with another team. That’s when Bortles casually announced that his pro career had come to a close.

“I have not touched a football since January. I have officially retired,” Blake Bortles said on Pardon My Take.

“I quietly … I didn’t tell anybody, I retired,” he added. “I guess you guys are kind of the first to hear it publicly.”

Bortles, who played in Jacksonville for five seasons from 2014-2018, led the Jaguars to a divisional title in 2017. The team would go on to make it to the AFC Championship before losing only one game shy of the Super Bowl. The QB out of the University of Central Florida (UCF) had an up-and-down career in the NFL, but will go down as one of the best quarterbacks in Jaguars history. He’s second in franchise history with 17,646 passing yards and 103 touchdowns in 72 starts.

More On Blake Bortles’ 8-Year NFL Career

The Jacksonville Jaguars drafted Blake Bortles in 2014 to be their franchise quarterback. While he didn’t always live up to that responsibility, he showed flashes of why the team took him third overall.

In just his second season in Jacksonville, he set single-season franchise records with 4,428 passing yards and 35 passing touchdowns. However, things went south the following year in 2016. He threw 16 interceptions in his third season, including three pick-6s, averaging an interception per game. The Jags would finish that season with only three wins.

The 2017 season didn’t start well for Bortles either. During training camp, the QB threw five interceptions in one practice. Following a poor performance in the team’s second preseason game, head coach Doug Marrone opened up a quarterback competition. Bortles had lost his grasp on the starting job.

Yet Blake Bortles rebounded and won the job back with his more efficient play. In fact, he led the NFL for a three-week stretch in December as the top-rated QB in the league. He went on to take the team to the playoffs where he played turnover-free football for three games and completed 60% of his passes.

After his solid performance and AFC Championship run, Jacksonville’s front office chose to re-sign the QB. Blake Bortles signed a three-year extension for $54 million with $26.5 million guaranteed. Yet he never found his playoff form from 2017 again.

After he struggled in 2018, the franchise decided to go in a different direction and signed Nick Foles in March 2019. Bortles would eventually sign with the Los Angeles Rams in 2019 as a backup. He then bounced around to the Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints over the next two seasons before now calling it a career and retiring.