Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

A report emerged on Monday night indicating Blake Bortles underwent surgery on his right wrist, an operation that could cloud his physical once it comes time for his fifth-year option to vest.

However, the Jaguars may not have notions of releasing a healthy Bortles under consideration. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (video link) the Jags’ plan is to keep Bortles for 2018 and give him a fifth year as their starter.

This would take Jacksonville out of the mix of quarterback suitors this offseason and may help explain why this surgery, which was known to be required last offseason, was tabled until recently. The 2018 option decision being a non-factor would allow a Bortles recovery to unfold on a normal pace as he gears up to help his now-championship-contending team come September.

The Jags were mentioned throughout this season as one of the key quarterback destinations, given their loaded defense and Bortles’ issues over his four-year run. While he put together two strong games against the AFC’s top two seeds in the playoffs, the 25-year-old passer has been wildly inconsistent over the course of his time in north Florida.

Reports last season involved Jaguars HC candidates not having to commit to him as a starter for 2017. Unreliability led to Bortles’ brief benching during the preseason and prompted many to speculate the Jags would try to pair a more reliable quarterback with their dominant defense.

The former No. 3 overall pick would enter a contract year if retained this season. Should the Jaguars reverse course, and Bortles be healthy enough to pass a physical en route to a release, the quarterback would be an interesting name on the market.

Of course, Bortles’ salary skyrocketing from $6.57MM to $19MM will limit Jacksonville’s options in free agency. The team’s been active on the market for years, and some recent decisions helped the team to its first AFC South title and first conference title game berth since 1999. While Bortles was viewed as more of a game manager during the regular season, throwing for 3,687 yards and sporting a 21-to-13 TD-to-INT ratio, his performance during the second half of the campaign and in the playoffs may have convinced Jags management he can get the team to the next level.

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This article first appeared on Pro Football Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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QUIZ: Name every first round draft pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars

Can you name every first round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL draft?

Clue: Draft Year-position-Pick

Score:
0/25
Time:
6:00
1995-T-2
Tony Boselli
1995-RB-19
James Stewart
1996-LB-2
Kevin Hardy
1997-DT-21
Renaldo Wynn
1998-RB-9
Fred Taylor
1998-S-25
Donovin Darius
1999-DB-26
Fernando Bryant
2000-WR-29
R. Jay Soward
2001-DT-13
Marcus Stroud
2002-DT-9
John Henderson
2003-QB-7
Byron Leftwich
2004-WR-9
Reggie Williams
2005-WR-21
Matt Jones
2006-TE-28
Marcedes Lewis
2007-DB-21
Reggie Nelson
2008-DE-8
Derrick Harvey
2009-DT-8
Eugene Monroe
2010-OT-10
Tyson Alualu
2011-QB-10
Blaine Gabbert
2012-WR-5
Justin Blackmon
2013-OT-2
Luke Joeckel
2014-QB-3
Blake Bortles
2015-DE-3
Dante Fowler, Jr.
2016-CB-5
Jalen Ramsey
2017-RB-4
Leonard Fournette
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