When a team just wins two games in a season, a number of roster spots will be open for competition. Perhaps the biggest one will be quarterbacks, as neither Blaine Gabbert or Chad Henne did enough to lock up the position heading into 2013. So the question is, what type of direction will Jacksonville go in?
At the beginning of 2012, Gabbert received the nod to start opening day as a second-year player coming off a rough rookie season. People within the system noticed several improvements, and in the season opener he looked solid against Minnesota. He threw for 260 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but Jacksonville still ended up losing in overtime.
Unfortunately for him, Week 1 was the highlight of the year in 2012 for Gabbert. He struggled in most of his other starts, and then was injured in Week 11 to end his season. Chad Henne stepped in permanently for the remainder of the season, posting average at best numbers for the rest of the season.
Both quarterbacks will be back in 2013, and many figure that it will once again be Blaine Gabbert’s position to lose. However, the team has to be worried about their first round draft when it comes to performance. While other young quarterbacks have dominated the league from virtually the beginning, Gabbert continues to struggle.
There are three options for the Jaguars to consider in order to get someone knew in camp: free agency, trade and the draft. The problem for Jacksonville is, who out there is promising enough to throw Gabbert to the bench after just two seasons? The free agent lists has the likes of Rex Grossman, Matt Leinart and David Garrard. None of those names are going to be able to do anything significantly better than Gabbert.
The 2013 draft also looking very weak, especially at quarterback. There is talent there for sure, but no one is jumping out as a guy who could step in and start on Day 1 like an Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III.
Finally, they could go the trade route, but Jacksonville would not be able to get much out of any of their quarterbacks. It would basically just be a quick way to start over, but things would get even worse before they get better.
All in all, Gabbert will feel the pressure, but it seems unlikely that he won’t get a chance to start the season opener. Chad Henne is a solid backup quarterback, but Jacksonville doesn’t appear to be ready to give up on Gabbert just yet. I would keep an eye on Gabbert in the first few games to see if he can become a player worth selecting in daily fantasy sports. With no quarterback in the draft to turn to, look for the Jaguars to keep things the same under center.