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NFL trade rumors: How a Gardner Minshew trade impacts the Jacksonville Jaguars

Tennessee Titans v Jacksonville Jaguars
Tennessee Titans v Jacksonville Jaguars
Wesley D Keefer

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew ll took the NFL by storm as an unknown sixth-round selection in 2019. When he took over for the injured Nick Foles in the season opener, he became a fan favorite.

Between his burly physique, his mullet and the handlebar mustache, Minshew became a pop culture icon nearly overnight. In 2019, Minshew's had a 6-6 record as a starter and threw 21 TDs and 6 INTs. He earned a starting role in 2020 but battled injuries and a decline in his performance (1-7 record).

Head coach Urban Meyer then entered the building and drafted his own QB in #1 overall pick QB Trevor Lawrence. Minshew essentially lost his starting job, forced to settle as a backup.

To add salt to the wound, the team signed four-year veteran QB CJ Beathard right before the draft to compete with Gardner Minshew. From QB1 to possible QB3, where does Gardner Minshew go from here?

Both Urban Meyer and OC Darell Bevell have nothing but positive things to say about Gardner Minshew during interviews. Bevell said he's impressed with the way he carries himself on and off the field.

Meyer says he's been working on building a strong relationship with his QB. Most players in this situation would have already demanded a trade. Gardner Minshew, though, isn't most players and hasn't asked for a trade, though some teams have called with interest.

Gardner Minshew trade value and possible destinations

After months of speculation about Minshew's next turn in the NFL, the Jaguars have finally revealed their asking price and it's a draft pick in either the fifth or the sixth round. For someone who has a 6-6 record as a rookie, that could be a bargain. ESPN's Jeremy Fowler has reported that Gardner Minshew would like a chance to compete for the QB1 spot wherever he lands.

That limits the teams that will continue to barter for his talents. The Carolina Panthers have emerged as contenders, but Sam Darnold seems to be their starter this year. The Dallas Cowboys are another team and would prefer to have Gardner Minshew as Dak Prescott's backup if he has an injury setback.

Philadelphia is an intriguing spot with QB Jalen Hurts not quite named the starter yet. Minshew would have a legit shot to be the starter, but it's late in the offseason, too.

Houston is another team on the list with Deshaun Watson's future still murky. Their backup options aren't very inspiring either. Minshew has a knack for learning new offenses on the fly with success, playing in four different systems in college and several in the NFL already.

The impact of a Gardner Minshew trade on the Jaguars

Trevor Lawrence is a generational talent and CJ Beathard has performed well enough in camp to remain in the battle for QB2. From a financial viewpoint, there's little impact on the Jaguars.

Jacksonville has plenty of cap space to play with and cutting either Minshew ($95K dead money) or Beathard ($2.5 million dead money) is unlikely to make the franchise lose any sleep. The team would only get a Day 3 pick in either trade.

As for experience,Gardner Minshew has been with the team for two years and has a decent relationship with his teammates, both new and old.

Minshew seems a bit more talented than Beathard and part of his 2020 decline likely stemmed from his unreported thumb injury. One of the few flaws coaches have pointed out is that he tends to leave the pocket too early.

Minshew would be one of the better backups in the league if he were to stay with Jacksonville. If something were to happen to Trevor Lawrence, the coaches would prefer to have a proven player in their system to step up.

The best choice for Gardner Minshew would be, to quote Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused, to "keep on keeping on."

He's been keeping his head down and showing up at training so far. He'll likely beat out CJ Beathard by the end of camp and will work closely with Lawrence throughout the season. However, Minshew is still destined to leave the team this year.

The likely scenarios

Philadelphia HC Nick Sirianni isn't completely ready to give Jalen Hurts the go-ahead and there's a chance Hurts won't pan out or suffers an injury. Dak Prescott could also suffer an injury setback, leaving Dallas without a capable QB. Deshaun Watson could be ineligible to play at any time now.

Gardner Minshew's best path is to continue to grow in Florida and prove the injury was the cause of his decline. At some point in the season, there will likely be a team that is in dire need of his services as a starter.

If no team has a QB issue (unlikely) and there's no trade offer that suits all parties, Minshew will stay put in Jacksonville until next offseason. Teams can then bring Gardner Minshew in early enough to get a feel for the system and have a fighting shot.


Edited by Colin D'Cunha

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