Gardner Minshew Not on Trading Block 'At This Point,' Jaguars' Urban Meyer Says

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 19, 2021

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II works out prior to an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
Gail Burton/Associated Press

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer said Friday the franchise hasn't explored a trade for Gardner Minshew despite the expectation it will select fellow quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft next month.

"At this point, no," Meyer told reporters when asked whether Minshew is on the trade block.

"Minshew Mania" swept through Jacksonville on a couple different occasions since the franchise selected the Washington State product in the sixth round of the 2019 draft.

His baseline numbers are strong. He's completed 62.9 percent of his throws for 5,530 yards with 37 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions across 23 appearances (20 starts) over the past two seasons. He's added 497 rushing yards and one score on the ground.

The analysts' view of his play isn't quite as promising, though. ESPN's Total QBR ranked him 26th in 2019 and 27th in 2020, and Pro Football Focus gave him a lackluster 67.8 overall grade last season.

It's also worth noting the Jags went just 1-7 in his eight starts in 2020, which is a major reason they finished with a league-worst 1-15 record to earn the No. 1 overall pick. While you can't pin a team's record entirely on the quarterback, it's all part of the evaluation.

Even though the Jaguars are almost certainly going to select Lawrence following his standout three-year college career at Clemson and make him their starter to open the 2021 campaign, the rest of the depth chart is tougher to forecast.

Keeping Minshew, who's under contract through 2022, for another season to serve as the backup represents the safe option. He might not be a franchise quarterback, but he's proved effective with limited mistakes over his first two years, which is what you want from a chief reserve.

He'd likely attract interest on the trade market, but that would mean either elevating Jake Luton, who threw two touchdowns and six picks as a rookie last year, to the backup role or perhaps dipping into free agency for a mentor for Lawrence.

It sounds like the Jags aren't in any hurry to move Minshew, but if they do sign a veteran—perhaps someone like Matt Barkley after he filled a similar role behind Josh Allen with the Buffalo Bills over the past three years—then the trade rumors will start to pick up steam.

Minshew could embark on a long journeyman career in the mold of Ryan Fitzpatrick or Kyle Orton, or maybe even follow in the footsteps of Ryan Tannehill, who's become a star with the Tennessee Titans after enjoying only moderate success in his initial stop with the Miami Dolphins.