Mar­rone not ready to name start­ing QB yet

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS WEEKEND -

JAGUARS ready.”

Owner Shad Khan an­nounced last week Mar­rone and gen­eral man­ager Dave Cald­well are both re­turn­ing for the 2020 sea­son, de­spite a 11-21 record over the past two sea­sons that in­cludes a 6-10 record in 2019.

Un­der their new struc­ture, Mar­rone will have more in­put on per­son­nel mat­ters than he had the past three sea­sons when for­mer top foot­ball ex­ec­u­tive Tom Cough­lin was in charge. Cough­lin was fired Dec. 18. Min­shew, a sixth-round pick in the 2019 draft, went 6-6 as a starter while Foles went 0-4.

Min­shew stepped in for Foles af­ter he suf­fered a bro­ken left col­lar­bone af­ter 10 plays into the sea­son opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.

With Foles out, Min­shew led the Jaguars to a 4-4 record.

How­ever, Foles re­gained his start­ing job in Week 11 against the In­di­anapo­lis Colts af­ter he cov­ered from his col­lar­bone in­jury that re­quired surgery.

Af­ter go­ing 0-3 — which in­cluded three turnover per­for­mance dur­ing a 28-11 loss to Tampa Bay on Dec. 1 — Foles was benched for the rest of the sea­son and re­placed by Min­shew.

The Jaguars are stuck with Foles’ con­tract at least through next sea­son, un­less they find a will­ing trade part­ner.

If the Jaguars were the re­lease Foles prior to June 1, his con­tract would still count $33.8 mil­lion in dead money against the cap. With Foles on the ros­ter, his cap num­ber for 2020 is $21.8 mil­lion and it in­creases to $26.8 mil­lion in 2021.

By com­par­i­son, Min­shew’s cap num­ber for 2020 is $632,904 and $722,904 in 2021.

“The one thing I know is I look for­ward to what­ever hap­pens con­tin­u­ing to grow as a hu­man be­ing, player, ex­celling and ul­ti­mately and com­ing out sling­ing,” Foles said. “I know I can still play; there’s peo­ple out there that be­lieve in me and I know what I can do, I’ve shown what I can do, so I look for­ward to what the fu­ture holds. Ob­vi­ously get­ting away, re­fresh­ing my­self, get­ting ready to roll. I’ll be ready to fire away.“

Sim­i­lar to Foles, Min­shew is gear­ing for a highly com­pet­i­tive quar­ter­back bat­tle that will be­gin when the off­sea­son pro­gram starts this spring. Min­shew is con­fi­dent that he can de­liver and will lean on what he learned from this past sea­son.

Min­shew had the high­est passer rat­ing (.912) among any of the seven rookie quar­ter­backs who earned starts this sea­son. Min­shew’s 21 pass­ing touch­downs and his 3,271 yards are both the most by a rookie in fran­chise his­tory.

In Sun­day’s sea­son fi­nale, a 38-20 vic­tory against the Colts, Min­shew com­pleted 27 of 39 passes for 295 yards and three touch­downs.

“I know I am go­ing to go home, I am go­ing to work re­ally hard,” Min­shew said. “I know Nick is go­ing to go home and work re­ally hard. We are both go­ing to show up and do the best we can for this team. And how­ever that shakes out, it is go­ing to shake out.”

JAMES GIL­BERT/GETTY

Jaguars coach Doug Mar­rone hasn’t yet com­mit­ted to nam­ing fan fa­vorite Gard­ner Min­shew II the team’s start­ing quar­ter­back for next sea­son.

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