Things change quickly in the NFL.
For a moment, Robert Griffin III was not only the future of the Washington Redskins but the future of the league.
His swagger (that white arm sleeve), his style (the read-option offense), and his nickname (RGIII) earned him an immortal place among NFL fans, that many would now agree, he never rightfully earned.
Well, almost five years removed from his magical rookie season, one that saw him take an anemic Redskins franchise to the postseason, I’m not sure you could find a team in the league who would be content with him as their starting quarterback.
In fact, just three years removed from his rookie season, Griffin III was a healthy scratch for the entire 2015 season, as the team chose “the other guy” from Griffin III’s draft class, Kirk Cousins, over him.
But RGIII isn’t the only example of an NFL team quickly turning their back on a high-end draft choice.
It didn’t take long for teams to give up on the likes of E.J. Manuel, Johnny Manziel, Brandon Weeden, Tim Tebow, Blaine Gabbert, Colin Kaepernick and others either.
So, would it really surprise you if the Jacksonville Jaguars did the same with Blake Bortles?
According to the Florida Times-Union, there is already a sense that the Jaguars will not pick up his fifth-year option after a down year last season.
In 2016, Bortles saw a decline in every major statistic, as he threw for under 4,000 yards, just 23 touchdowns while posting a passer rating below 80.
The year prior, though, he threw for 35 touchdowns and almost 4,500 yards while registering a passer rating close to 90.
Once the third overall pick in the draft, Bortles certainly has all the characteristics of a franchise quarterback (arm, size, decent mobility).
And one trait that shouldn’t go unnoticed is his durability which is something that has hindered the progress of recent high-end quarterback prospects (RGIII, Marcus Marriota, Sam Bradford, Jake Locker, Andrew Luck).
Since making his first start in Week 4 of the 2014 season, Bortles hasn’t missed a single game.
With the Jaguars handing the franchise over to Tom Coughlin and also crowning (another) new coach, Doug Marrone, Bortles’ job stability is up in the air.
Both Coughlin and Marrone have no attachment to Bortles because he’s technically not “their” guy, as neither were in charge when he was drafted.
So, if the organization does find a quarterback in this year’s draft it could hint at how they feel about Bortles moving forward.
Which is where the New York Giants come in.
At this point, it’s well known that the Giants are looking for the successor to Eli Manning.
And when you consider the fact that nobody would call this year’s quarterback draft class anything to talk about, it’s fair to say that – right now – Bortles is better than anything you’re going to find in the draft.
I don’t want to sound corny and overplay the Coughlin-Giants connection in a potential trade but it’s something to keep in mind as well.
What would trade compensation look like? Who knows.
Ideally, the Giants would probably have to part with a second or third round pick based on the position they are trading for and the potential that lies in a good quarterback.
You might think that’s too much, but again, the upside of finding a potential franchise quarterback is going to cost you.
Let me ask you this: would you rather have a legitimate option at quarterback for the next decade, someone who has flashed legitimate potential, or a cornerback from Utah?
That’s basically what you’d be choosing him over if you were unable to deal a high draft choice for Bortles.
The potential of not having a future franchise quarterback is scary (just ask half the league).
Which is why if Bortles’ name is tossed around in the open market, the Giants would be foolish not to give it serious consideration.