ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported the deal on Friday afternoon:
Jacksonville and QB Chad Henne reached agreement on a Twi-year deal, per ESPN source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 7, 2014
Hays Carlyon of The Florida Times-Union confirmed the news with the Jaguars shortly after:
#Jaguars confirm QB Chad Henne has reached agreement to stay with franchise.— Hays Carlyon (@HaysCarlyon) March 7, 2014
Alex Marvez of Fox Sports reported details of the contract later Friday:
Henne will get a $1.5M signing bonus and $3M roster bonus, accounting for the $4.5M figure. Incentives/escalators can raise overall value— Alex Marvez (@alexmarvez) March 7, 2014
Associated Press reporter Mark Long notes that Henne will likely be the starter next season:
Jaguars coach Gus Bradley says Chad Henne likely the starter even if team drafts a QB at No. 3— Mark Long (@APMarkLong) March 7, 2014
Jags general manager Dave Caldwell made it a point to reach out to Henne while his club held exclusive negotiating rights, fearing that he might lose the signal-caller in unrestricted free agency, which opens on March 11.
Caldwell told Ryan O'Halloran of The Florida Times-Union that he wanted to lock up the 28-year-old early in the offseason, even though it is no secret his franchise will be giving other quarterbacks heavy consideration in the upcoming NFL draft.
"You never know [about the market]," Caldwell said. "It doesn’t matter if it's a big market or a small market. All it takes is one team."
Team owner Shad Khan bluntly stated that his team would be drafting as many as two quarterbacks this spring, as per O'Halloran in a separate report.
"We have to get better at that [quarterback position]," Khan said. "I think there's no mystery that we're going to be taking a quarterback and maybe two."
O'Halloran noted how this would impact the team's draft strategy:
League source on #Jaguars: "With Henne back, I don't expect them to take QB until 2nd round and maybe not until 3rd or 4th round."— Ryan O'Halloran (@ryanohalloran) March 7, 2014
At worst, this move solidifies the backup quarterback position in Jacksonville, as Alessandro Miglio of Bleacher Report observed:
Jaguars are keeping Chad Henne around for two more years. Sounds like he signed on to be the backup for whoever they draft.— Alessandro Miglio (@AlexMiglio) March 7, 2014
However, Henne is a capable starter when called upon. He finished the 2013 campaign having played in 15 games, completing 305 of 503 passes (60.6 percent) for 3,241 yards, 13 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
The six-year veteran would have had other suitors on the open market, as Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports 1 said the Houston Texans were one team that planned on giving Henne some serious consideration:
Henne would've had interest elsewhere. As I tweeted yesterday, the Texans would've been checking in on him. Houston still wants a vet option— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 7, 2014
The Jaguars hold the No. 3 overall pick in the upcoming draft and have a plethora of quarterback prospects to mull over.
Did the Jags make the right move?
UCF’s Blake Bortles, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel and Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater may all be available when Jacksonville is on the clock and are well worth consideration with its selection.
Henne projects to be a capable mentor and excellent backup to any one of these quarterbacks or whomever else the Jags decide to draft to bolster their talent level at the position.