Could Mike Kafka actually be Jaguars’ starting quarterback?
The Jacksonville Jaguars pretty clearly have the worst starting quarterback situation in the NFL, with the Buffalo Bills No. 2, and here’s why: the Jags are saying that Mike Kafka, who was just cut as New England’s third-string QB, will have every chance to be the Jags’ starter in Week 1.
The Jags were awarded Kafka off waivers from New England after the Pats cut him when they signed Tim Tebow. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Kafka has played in four career games since entering the NFL as a fourth-round draft pick of Philadelphia in 2010. He spent two seasons with the Eagles and completed 11 of 16 passes for 107 yards and two interceptions. Kafka spent the 2012 preseason with the Eagles before he was waived during final cuts. He was signed by the Patriots on January 4, 2013.
The Jaguars have 2011 first-round draft pick Blaine Gabbert and sixth-year pro Chad Henne returning from their quarterbacks group in 2012. However, Kafka’s main competition during training camp is expected to come from undrafted rookie Matt Scott.
General manager Dave Caldwell said he considered Kafka early in the offseason, but the quarterback already had committed to the Patriots. In 2011, when Caldwell was part of the Falcons front office, he saw the best of Kafka’s limited NFL work. Michael Vick got hurt, Kafka took over for him and the Eagles and hit on 7-of-9 passes for 72 yards in a game Philadelphia lost 35-31. Caldwell said Kafka’s got “just as good an opportunity” to win the job as Gabbert, Henne or Scott.
The conventional wisdom is that Gabbert has the edge because he was the first-round pick two years ago, but Henne is getting a shot.
“I want to be the guy and be a franchise quarterback and if it happens, it happens. If not, I’m just going to keep going back on the roller coasting and keep competing and wait for my chance,” Henne said.
Jordan Rodgers is also on the team. He’s out until camp after recent sports-hernia surgery. The Jaguars are one of only two teams currently in the NFL with five quarterbacks on the roster. The other is Philadelphia. The Jaguars averaged 213.7 passing yards per game last season, which ranked 21st in the league. Henne led the team with 2,084 yards through the air and 11 touchdown tosses. Many were surprised the Jaguars didn’t take Geno Smith when he was available at the top of the second round.
Jacksonville, the longest Super Bowl shot on WagerWeb.com, opens Sept. 8 against Kansas City.