NFL Trade Rumors: Why does keeping Gardner Minshew make the most sense for the Jacksonville Jaguars?

Minshew's still an valuable asset as a backup
Minshew's still an valuable asset as a backup

Gardner Minshew is no longer the big man in Jacksonville. With Trevor Lawrence's arrival in shining armor, Minshew is now resigned to being a backup, and there's a lot of talk about a possible trade.

However, with the current situation on the Jaguars' roster, the best solution for the team would be to keep Minshew on and have him as Lawrence's understudy. After all, the rookie will surely start Week 1.

Keeping Minshew is incredibly cheap

The biggest advantage of keeping Minshew at this point is that he's an incredibly cheap backup. As he was a recent sixth-round pick, his rookie contract has an $897,000 cap hit in 2021 and $1 million next season.

Of course, it's not as if the Jaguars need to cut money from the roster. After all, Jacksonville's one of the teams with the most cap space available, not only in 2021 but in the coming seasons. But having players who can contribute and who cost so little is a luxury for any team.

Detroit Lions v Jacksonville Jaguars
Detroit Lions v Jacksonville Jaguars

Minshew has already proven his worth as a starter

The Jaguars are not quite in the conversation for the Super Bowl with Gardner Minshew as a starter, but since he's already familiar with the roster and has shown that he's not a terrible quarterback, Minshew would be the ideal backup for Jacksonville.

If Trevor Lawrence suffers an injury that keeps him on the sidelines for an extended stretch of time, Minshew is a reliable backup who can finish a game or even start one or two games. Of the qualities he has shown over the past two years, he has at least proven himself to be a player who makes good decisions with the ball, despite not having an arm strong enough for deep passes.

Minimal trade return

Given the price he'll cost on the salary cap and knowing he has starting experience with the team, Minshew will certainly not be cut by the Jaguars. But it's also not worth it for the team to trade the quarterback because no plausible return for Minshew will be enough to elevate Jacksonville to the playoffs.

The investment in the draft - a sixth-round pick - was anything but sizeable. But Minshew also isn't a player who, if traded, will generate a much better return than that pick. A third- or fourth-round pick will not turn the Jaguars into Super Bowl contenders next year - they're still a team with plenty of holes on the roster.

In short, the best thing the Jaguars can do is keep Minshew on the roster while he's on his rookie contract. A cheap contract with decent starting experience and one who can replace the starting quarterback is a luxury few teams can afford in the NFL, but it's one that's fallen into Jacksonville's lap.

Edited by Colin D'Cunha
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