It’s been an offseason of change for former WSU quarterback Gardner Minshew... But not the type of change we probably wanted to see.
Unfortunately for fans hoping to see Minshew win a starting job, he is still a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars. That means he figures to start the year behind the 2021 number one overall draft pick Trevor Lawrence on Urban Meyer’s depth chart.
Despite the odds, Minshew reported to camp this week looking to win the starting spot. And he did it sporting a new hair style.
The iconic mullet is gone, and Minshew is hoping a new hairstyle will reverse the bad fortunes he’s had recently in Jacksonville.
After winning the starting job in 2019, and beginning 2020 at the top of the Jaguars depth chart, Minshew was sidelined by a thumb injury half way through the season. That injury (combined with a fairly obvious scheme to tank for the number one pick) left Minshew in and out of the lineup for the remainder of the season.
This year Minshew is back, and he’s joined by a new head coach in Urban Meyer, and a pair of new quarterbacks in top draft pick Trevor Lawrence and free agent CJ Beathard.
Despite the challenges, Minshew came to camp ready to compete. During practice on Tuesday, he completed 8 of the 11 passes he throw during the scrimmage period, including a pair of touchdown passes.
“I think he’s a leader... a lot of charisma,” Jaguars offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. “He does a great job of managing things on the field... I like what he’s doing for us and I’m glad he’s here.”
Despite the competition, Lawrence says he and Minshew have meshed well together since the start of practice.
“If he sees something, he’s going to communicate it to me and vice versa,” Lawrence told the media, “so I think we’ve worked well together. It hasn’t been an issue at all. I don’t expect it to be.
At the end of the day, if Minshew remains in Jacksonville for 2021, his future will likely be as a backup. He’s competing with former 49ers backup CJ Beathard for the second string role. But, at the end of the day, play on the field in minicamp and training camp next month might not be the only factor in deciding who wins the backup job.
According to Spotrac.com, if Beathard were to be cut, the Jaguars would take a salary cap hit of $2.5 million in dead-money. If Minshew were to be cut, that hit would be just under $100,000.
If Minshew were to be traded, the Jaguars are reportedly asking for a fifth or sixth round pick in return, according to ESPN ($). Minshew has also said he would prefer to land in a spot where he would be able to at least compete for a starting spot.
For Minshew, and his fans, it’s a waiting game to see what the 2021 season will hold. And while we wait for that, we can take several moments of silence to mourn the loss of his glorious mullet.
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