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Jags’ Blake Bortles already thinking about a big payday

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Blake Bortles has won three games.

Oh, he may be a star. He may make fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars forget about Blaine Gabbert and Byron Leftwich. He may lead his team to a turnaround.

But so far, Bortles is coming off a rookie season in which he threw 11 touchdowns and 17 interceptions, in which he has a 69.5 rating and in which he hit only 58.9 percent of his passes.

Ah, just in time to talk about a $100-million contract, isn’t it?

To be fair, Bortles didn’t say he deserved such a contract, and he didn’t demand one. But as he said, “that’s the goal” after Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers signed his $118-million extension. Bortles has two years to go on his rookie contract before being eligible for a new deal. Still, that’s the kind of money that is out there for a quarterback.

“$100 million is always exciting,” said Bortles, who played at Central Florida. “Those guys all earn it. They’re great quarterbacks and they get paid what they deserve.”

The thing is, Bortles had some promising moments, but no one is sure quite yet if he’s going to be a great quarterback or not. Of course, Miami’s Ryan Tannehill isn’t quite great, and he just signed a $77-million extension.

The price of quarterbacks has gone silly. The Bucs, the third team in the state, just gave their new quarterback Jameis Winston a contract worth $25.35 million, including a $16.69 million signing bonus.

The original franchise price of the Bucs?

It was $16 million.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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