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Bortles extended


JACKSONVILLE – Blake Bortles' future got a lot clearer Saturday.

So did the future of the Jaguars' quarterback position.

Bortles, the Jaguars' starting quarterback the past four seasons, on Saturday signed a contract extension through the 2020 season. The Jaguars announced the extension in a press release Saturday afternoon.

"Blake's growth and development last season was a key to the success we had as a team," Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin said in the release.

"Blake has proven, with toughness and dependability, that he can be the leader this team needs going forward. Along with this contract come high expectations that he will continue to improve and help our team accomplish its ultimate goal."

Bortles, the No. 3 overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, has started 61 consecutive regular-season games for the Jaguars and led the Jaguars to the AFC South title this past season. He also quarterbacked the Jaguars to a 2-1 postseason record and an appearance in the AFC Championship Game following this past season.

"Five is our guy," Jaguars defensive tackle Malik Jackson said. "He's been through a lot and proved a lot last season. He's the type of guy we want in our locker room and I look forward to having him back for many more years."

Bortles, who entered the offseason with one year remaining on his rookie contract, was scheduled to make $19.1 million in 2018. The Jaguars had the option of having Bortles play the year at that salary, releasing him or signing him to a multi-year extension.

Bortles in 2017 completed a career-high 60.2 percent of his passes for 3,687 yards and 21 touchdowns with 13 interceptions. He has completed 59.1 percent of his career passes for 14,928 yards and 90 touchdowns with 64 interceptions.

"We've always trusted Blake and we're excited that he'll lead our offense for years to come," Jaguars center Brandon Linder said in statement released by the team. "He's one of the toughest guys I know and I'm confident that he'll continue to make us better on a daily basis."

Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis called Bortles "an ultimate competitor" who "will do whatever he can to help the team win."

"I've had the pleasure of seeing Blake mature and progress for the past four years and the one thing that I admire the most about him is his attitude," Lewis said. "That's his only goal. He's not worried about personal credit or accolades; his sole focus is on being a great leader and a great teammate and I am very excited for him and his family on a very well-earned extension."

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