For the past two seasons, third-year quarterback Gardner Minshew has been handling things under center for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Things changed when the Jaguars drafted former Clemson Tigers QB Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 pick at this year’s NFL Draft. Nevertheless, Minshew didn’t give up on the idea of being Jacksonville’s starting quarterback as training camp began. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out for him as Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer recently announced that Lawrence will start in Week 1 of the 2021 season.
Now, Minshew’s status is up in the air. His 5,530 passing yards and 37 touchdowns over 23 career games (20 starts) likely makes him too good to be a backup quarterback. So, could the Jaguars trade Gardner Minshew before the November 2 trade deadline?
According to Bovada, probably not as the sportsbook projects him to stay with the Jaguars at +150 odds. It makes sense that Jacksonville would want to hold onto Minshew as some sort of insurance. After all, Lawrence has yet to play a regular season game and there’s no telling how he’ll perform over the course of a 17-game campaign. There’s also the fact that injuries are a real possibility. Last year, the Cincinnati Bengals watched QB Joe Burrow’s rookie season come to an end when he tore his ACL and MCL at the same time. After that, the rest of Cincinnati’s season was a right off.
Regardless of how Trevor Lawrence performs, the Jaguars likely have one of the best backups in the league in Gardner Minshew. As long as there’s no internal conflict going on, they may as well hold on to him for the rest of the campaign just in case. Plus it might be tough for the Jaguars to get proper value for him this close to the start of the season.
Gardner Minshew Odds: Where Will He Play After the Trade Deadline?
Odds via Bovada as of Friday, August 27
- Jacksonville Jaguars (+150)
- Carolina Panthers (+350)
- Detroit Lions (+400)
- New York Giants (+650)
- Dallas Cowboys (+650)
- Philadelphia Eagles (+1000)
Carolina Panthers Likeliest Destination
In the event that the Jaguars do trade Gardner Minshew before November 2, the Carolina Panthers are the likeliest landing spot at +350 odds. The Panthers are beginning a new era at quarterback this year after acquiring Sam Darnold from the New York Jets earlier in the offseason. The Carolina coaching staff already seems to love Darnold, however, is his past track record too hard to ignore?
Darnold showed a lot of regression last year, finishing his final Jets campaign by completing just 59.6% of his passes for 2,208 passing yards and 9 touchdowns to 11 interceptions. While you can chalk that up to him play for an awful Jets team, he still needs to prove what he can do in a new system. The Panthers could consider trading for Gardner Minshew to give them insurance in case Darnold regresses again. After all, Minshew would be a massive upgrade over current backup QB P.J. Walker. He’s also only 25 years old, so he could easily be the Panthers’ quarterback of the future if the Darnold experiment fails.
Gardner Minshew Detroit Lions Odds
The Detroit Lions shipped longtime-starting quarterback Matthew Stafford off to the Los Angeles Rams earlier this year for Jared Goff and a handful of draft picks. While Goff is slated to start under center for Detroit, not everybody is sold on him just yet. After throwing 60 touchdowns over Years 2 and 3 of his career, he’s thrown just 42 over the past two seasons. While that’s not a terrible number, it shows that Goff may not be the guy to take the Lions to the next level, which is why they should consider trading for Gardner Minshew.
If anything, Minshew could light a fire under Goff to be the best quarterback that he can be. The former Rams signal-caller is only 26 years old, so it’s not like he’s incapable of progression. At the same time, Minshew has a personality that can’t be ignored and could become a fan favorite in Detroit fairly quickly. He’s young enough so that the team could market him as a face of the franchise and we may not even have seen his best football yet. After all, there are worse backup options out there.