The Jacksonville Jaguars delayed it as long as possible, but eventually just had to get on with the obvious and announced on Monday they were picking up the fifth-year option on Blake Bortles' rookie contract.
It's a show of faith for Bortles, which is good news for the quarterback and the Jags as a whole. But don't read too much into the option, which really was a very obvious move.
Consider first that the Jaguars were not guaranteed to pick up this option. GM Dave Caldwell and football czar Tom Coughlin -- hired this offseason to turn around a rudderless ship --whether or not they would pick up Bortles' option by the May 2 deadline.
"This is a smart business decision for the team for several reasons," Coughlin said in a statement. "It makes sense for us going forward and it's good for Blake and for the Jaguars."
Of course it's good: it locks down Bortles for an extra year without any real risk for the Jaguars.
That's because the option for Bortles is. If Bortles stinks in 2017, you just yank the option and let him go. The fifth-year option is, essentially, a guidepost for how a team believes its first-round rookie from three years ago is performing.
If Bortles is hurt next year and can't pass a physical, the Jaguars could be on the hook for a bunch of money, but remember we're talking about a guy they drafted No. 3 overall.
They went all in on Bortles during the 2014 NFL Draft and they sort of doubled down on him this offseason. Coughlin has no allegiance to Bortles, but Caldwell is the guy who drafted him. Coach Doug Marrone was the interim for the final two games of the season who got the most out of Bortles (relative to how he played the rest of the year).
Their first two picks, running back Leonard Fournette and offensive tackle Cam Robinson, are specifically designed to help out Bortles. Fournette, a power back, should take the pressure off the passing game. Robinson should provide additional protection for Bortles and while helping the Jaguars improve their run game.
It's very clear that 2017 is, by design, a make-or-break year for Bortles. Don't buy into the narrative that the Jaguars are committing to him long term because they picked up his fifth-year option. It's simply an obvious, smart play for a team trying to figure out what it has on its hands.