Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone had a tough decision to make a few weeks back. His prized off-season acquisition, quarterback Nick Foles, was ready to return from a nasty collarbone injury suffered in week one. So, does he go with Foles or stick with the surprising young rookie, Gardner Minshew?
Minshew had taken the nation by storm. Fans loved his personality, and, for once, the quarterback was not a liability for the Jaguars. But the team had just signed Foles to a four-year, $88 million contract with over $50 million guaranteed during the off-season.
With the amount of money the team had invested in him, Marrone needed to give him a chance—so he did.
Just like that, Minshew Mania was over—but now it’s coming back.
When Marrone made the switch, the Jaguars had a 4-5 record and were still in the playoff picture (and possibly even had a shot at the division title).
While Minshew had played well overall, he still had some rookie moments. So, Marrone likely figured that Foles, with his background, gave the team a better chance of staying in the hunt. It took him 10 quarters to figure out he was wrong.
After a disastrous first half against the Buccaneers on Sunday, Marrone benched Foles and inserted Minshew into the game. The Jags still lost the game, 28-11, but they were competitive in the second half.
Knowing that four more losses would likely cost him his job, on Monday, Marrone made the only decision he could. He announced that Foles was going back to the bench and Minshew would start for the remainder of the season.
The Jaguars were supposed to be his opportunity. The Jaguars were a good team in need of a good quarterback, and Foles was supposed to be that guy. He was going to have his own team, one many had high hopes for with him under center.
But then he got hurt, and the team discovered a talented, less expensive option.
With $45.125 million of his contract guaranteed at signing, the Jaguars are financially committed to Foles at least through next season. But if Minshew plays well down the stretch, they will likely do all they can to find a trade partner in the off-season.
Since he has a Super Bowl win on his resume, someone in need of a quarterback will probably trade for him.
This article was edited by Gerelyn Terzo.
Last modified: January 22, 2020 11:41 PM UTC