Gardner Minshew officially signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday, and the sixth round pick got another pretty good piece of news later in the day: The Jaguars also released last year’s backup Cody Kessler.
Kessler was considered Minshew’s primary competitor for the backup job behind new franchise quarterback Nick Foles, given that he made a handful of starts last season. Apparently, the team saw all it needed to see. The other quarterbacks (for now) who will be competing with Minshew are Tanner Lee and Alex McGough; both spent last season on practice squads and Lee was the Jaguars’ sixth round pick in 2018.
All that is to say that Minshew’s path to the Jaguars’ 53-man roster in the fall just got significantly clearer.
At his contract signing, Minshew had some very Minshew things to say:
- On his journey: “It was all worth it. Even the down parts were still a lot of fun. I’m getting to play football at this age. Anything past high school is blessing. To be, here, it’s something I always dreamed of.”
- On the NFL: “It’s something I always believed. Other people might not have believed it, but that didn’t matter. I believed it and my family believed it. Obviously, [Washington State Head Football] Coach [Mike] Leach believed it. I am where I am today.”
- On getting ready: “I got an iPad sent to me overnight. I’ve just been diving into that, studying and trying to get ready best I can for rookie minicamp. Hard work got me here and hard work’s going to keep me here.”
- On what’s next: “I want to earn the trust and respect of the coaches and players. That comes through the work you put in in practice. I just look forward to being part of the team and moving forward.”
The Jaguars will get their first up-close look at Minshew as rookie minicamp gets underway today. Our SB Nation friends at Big Cat Country will be covering it with a live blog.
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