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AFC South Q&A: Is Blake Bortles a lost cause for Jaguars?

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles set single-season franchise records in passing yards (4,428) and touchdown passes (35) in 2015 but followed that up with a disappointing 2016 season.

He threw 16 interceptions, including three that were returned for touchdowns, and his mechanics were a mess. The Jaguars' offense, which was supposed to be a strength, struggled to move the ball and score points.

Bortles has turned the ball over more than any other player over the past three seasons (63 turnovers) and has thrown the second-most interceptions (51). Yet the Jaguars didn't bring in a free agent or draft another quarterback, and they picked up Bortles' fifth-year option.

The team is going all-in with Bortles in 2017, but if he doesn't perform, Jacksonville will be looking for his replacement. Is Bortles salvageable, or do the Jaguars need to find another quarterback?

Sarah Barshop, Texans reporter: The Jaguars can win with Bortles, but this is the year he needs to show he is capable of that. Drafting running back Leonard Fournette in the first round will help take some pressure off Bortles, and their receiving duo of Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns should have a bounce-back season. Also, for the first time in his career, Bortles will have an offensive-minded head coach. Doug Marrone helped Bortles to a strong finish last season, and the hope will be that the improvement carries over to this upcoming campaign. The offensive line is still a question mark, but the Jaguars have the skill-position players in place to help Bortles be successful in 2017.

Michael DiRocco, Jaguars reporter: Jaguars VP Tom Coughlin evidently believes so. He saw something in Bortles over the last four games of the 2016 season to convince him that Bortles wasn't a lost cause. Bortles threw just one interception in the final month after throwing 15 in the first 12 games. Even though his mechanics were still way out of whack, Bortles' decision-making was better and his completion percentage was better than 62 percent in three of those four games. Bortles is never going to have perfect mechanics and his desire to go down the field and take chances means his completion percentage is likely going to be lower than what the Jaguars want. But if he improves his decision-making and cuts down on turnovers, then the Jaguars can win games with him -- especially if the running game improves. Still, he's not going to be an elite quarterback and his ceiling may be in the Brian Hoyer/Matt Cassel/Jon Kitna range -- good enough to get a team to the playoffs but needs a lot of help to do it.

Mike Wells, Colts reporter: The Jaguars clearly feel they can get something out of Bortles because they (for some head-scratching reason) picked up his fifth-year option. They would have been better off letting him play out the final year of his rookie deal because even if -- and it's a big if at this point -- he does have a bounce-back season, I don't see him being good enough to make $20 million, which is the average of the top 10 highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL, in 2018. It's hard to have faith in a quarterback who has 51 interceptions in 46 career games and is 11-34 as a starter in his three-year career. The Jaguars, who have a talented defense, made a mistake by not bringing in a quarterback to at least cause Bortles to worry a little bit about his job. They're basically willing to sink or swim with him. The Jaguars better hope that Fournette can ease some of Bortles' workload to avoid having them sink another season.