With the “Mania” over in Jacksonville, here are five potential landing spots for Gardner Minshew in 2021.
When Gardner Minshew was sidelined by a thumb injury earlier this season, the Jacksonville Jaguars showed they were ready to go into tank-mode by turning to rookie Jake Luton. Then came a pivot to Mike Glennon, with Minshew still not quite 100 percent.
Minshew returned to the starting lineup in Week 15, a blowout loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone declared an open competition for who would start Sunday against the Chicago Bears, and on Saturday the announcement came that Glennon will be the guy again.
With the New York Jets pulling out a win in Week 15, the Jaguars are the current favorite to get the No. 1 pick in April’s draft. So it makes sense to keep losing, and make their losing streak a full 15 games since a surprising Week 1 win over the Indianapolis Colts.
With a rookie quarterback coming in with a high draft pick no matter what, and the regime that drafted him gone, Minshew’s future is not in Jacksonville. He is headed for a Ryan Fitzpatrick-like journeyman career, and 2021 will surely bring the second team in his travels.
Minshew showed enough in 14 games as a rookie in 2019 (21 touchdowns, 6 INT; 344 rushing yards) to catch the attention of other teams, and this year he’s not been a disaster in nine games (16 TD, 5 INT). He’s not going to be given a starting job anywhere, but he will get another shot with the dearth of capable quarterbacks around the league.
These five teams could easily take a flier on Minshew this offseason.
5 possible landing spots for Gardner Minshew in 2021
The Vikings are in familiar territory this year. They rallied from 1-5 to 6-6, and are now 6-9 after a Christmas Day loss to the New Orleans Saints. So they are not in position to draft one of the top quarterback prospects in April, and Kirk Cousins is pretty much locked in as their starting quarterback for 2021 anyway.
Despite playing behind an offensive line that collectively can’t pass protect, Cousins has not yet missed a start due to injury in three seasons as a Viking (or in his career, for that matter). But behind him this year in Sean Mannion, and if he’s not brought back next year Minshew has seen the field far more already.
As long as he’s the Vikings’ quarterback, Cousins will not be replaced for anything besides a significant injury. But Minshew is at least an interesting idea as a backup, and maybe GM Rick Spielman would part with one of his coveted late-round picks to get him.