Another coast. Another conference.
Blake Bortles is moving on from Duval as he signed a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Rams on Monday afternoon, the team announced.
The former longtime Jacksoville Jaguars starter will now back up starting quarterback Jared Goff, who led the Rams to the Super Bowl last season.
News of Bortles taking a visit to the West Coast came Friday via NFL.com's Michael Silver and it didn't take long for the QB to find a new franchise. Silver reported Monday that the Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens were also interested in Bortles' services, but he was bound for L.A.
"You know, kind of weighing the options that I had prior to going and meeting with anybody -- this was the first visit I took -- the Rams were the one that stood out to me, kind of the place I wanted to be, and what I thought would be best, personally, for me joining a good football team," Bortles said Monday via the team's website. "So kind of when I was around the building talking to people, it really just solidified that. And I got off the phone with my agent and was kind of like, 'This is where I want to be and where I think is best for me.'"
During an ugly 2018 campaign in which the Jaguars followed a run to the AFC Championship with a dismal 5-11 showing, Bortles' Jacksonville exodus seemed to be a lock for the offseason. Once former Philadelphia EaglesSuper Bowl MVP Nick Foles was signed by the Jags, it became a foregone conclusion.
When the Jaguars and Bortles officially parted ways on Wednesday, the third overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft left after five seasons in which he went 24-49 as a starter.
It was clearly time for a change.
For the Rams, though, Bortles is a welcomed veteran backup QB who boasts starting and playoff experience.
Perhaps overlooked with Goff has been his durability. In 2018, Goff started every game for the Rams and only seven passes for L.A. were thrown by other players -- four by punter Johnny Hekker and three by second-stringer Sean Mannion.
Mannion is a free agent and Bortles has gone from an often-chastised starter for an AFC South underachiever to a veteran backup with a wealth experience on an NFC Super Bowl contender.