Blake Bortles

NFL rumors: Nick Foles to sign with Jaguars at start of NFL free agency

NFL rumors: Nick Foles to sign with Jaguars at start of NFL free agency

The 49ers have their franchise quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo, and the Raiders recently reaffirmed their faith in Derek Carr as theirs.

The Jacksonville Jaguars appear to have no such faith in Blake Bortles, and according to Les Bowen of Philly.com, they've already found their replacement in the Eagles' Nick Foles.

"The only Eagles quarterback to ever win a Super Bowl is bound for Jacksonville when NFL free agency opens March 13, according to NFL sources with knowledge of the situation," Bowen wrote Sunday.

"A market for Nick Foles outside of Jacksonville has not developed, and though nothing is certain until it is official, the Jaguars absolutely expect to sign Foles, sources said."

Foles signing with the Jaguars -- the Eagles have already announced they do not plan to use the franchise tag on him -- would not have a direct impact on either the 49ers or Raiders, but quite possibly an indirect one.

Acquiring Foles would seem to eliminate Jacksonville from the list of quarterback-needy teams. That list has been dwindling rather rapidly after Denver traded for Baltimore's Joe Flacco. Washington and Miami will likely be in the market for a quarterback, but in general, the supply currently outweighs the demand, and that would be further exasperated by Foles signing with the Jags.

This is quite relevant to the 49ers and Raiders due to their position at the top of the draft order. There are rumors abound that Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray is the odds-on favorite to go first overall, and Ohio State signal-caller Dwayne Haskins is expected to go very high as well.

[RELATED: Report: Murray to Cardinals with No. 1 pick is 'done deal']

The more QB-needy teams there are come draft time, the better position the 49ers and/or Raiders would be in to exact a high price in a trade back with one of those teams.

With Foles reportedly heading to Jacksonville at the start of free agency, that's likely one fewer potential trade partner to take advantage of.

Fantasy football waiver wire: Target ex-49er Vance McDonald in Week 5

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USATSI

Fantasy football waiver wire: Target ex-49er Vance McDonald in Week 5

Whether your fantasy-football league crowns a champion in Weeks 16 or 17, teams are already starting to separate themselves. 

Winless teams could find themselves trailing playoff spot by two, three, or even four games, and the clock is ticking with nine weeks before the playoffs tend to start. Teams at the top, then, have a real opportunity to separate themselves from the pack. 

But no matter where you sit, finding capable players on the waiver wire is vital during the dog days of the fantasy football season. Here's who you should target ahead of Week 5. 

Nyheim Hines (14.5 percent of ESPN leagues, 13 percent of Yahoo leagues)

Hines exploded in Week 4, despite only rushing for 10 yards. He caught nine passes for 63 yards, and also caught two touchdowns. The rookie out of North Carolina State also tied for the team-lead in targets (11). 

Through four games, Hines has been targeted 26 times, and he's caught no fewer than five passes in three out of four games so far. That makes Hines an intriguing option in PPR leagues, but a touchdown-dependent one in non-PPR setups. 

Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars QB (Owned in 18.5 percent of ESPN leagues, 32 percent of Yahoo leagues)

We can't believe it either, but Bortles has been one of the better fantasy quarterbacks this season. He bounced back from a down week against the Tennessee Titans with 388 passing yards and two touchdowns, and his only blemish against the New York Jets on Sunday was an interception. 

Picking up Bortles for Week 5 could put your fantasy team in a good place, especially if you have one of the many big-name QBs who has struggled so far in 2018. With a matchup against a porous Kansas City Chiefs pass defense, Bortles is a great streaming option if you're looking for an improved signal-caller. 

Dede Westbrook (12.7 percent of ESPN leagues, 17 percent of Yahoo leagues)

Westbrook benefitted from Bortles' big day. He hauled in a team-high nine catches (on a team-high 13 targets) for 130 yards and scored two touchdowns. Westbrook led the Jaguars in total targets for the second time in four weeks, and has finished no worse than second among Jacksonville wideouts in targets every week.

He's the No. 2 wide receiver in a pass-happy offense, and has a very favorable matchup in Week 4 against the Chiefs. Mike Evans, Desean Jackson, and Allen Robinson are all off during Week 5, and Westbrook offers plenty of upside in their absence. 

Vance McDonald, Pittsburgh Steelers TE (31.3 percent of ESPN leagues, 43 percent of Yahoo leagues) 

We swear we're not just watching the AFC South. It would have been hard for McDonald to top his viral stiff arm, but the former 49ers tight end followed it up with a solid performance nonetheless. He caught five passes for 62 yards, but a fumble prevented him from hitting double-digit points in PPR leagues for the second straight week. Injuries at the position make that blemish easy to overlook. 

Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 4, and Rob Gronkowski is banged up on a short week. McDonald's gotten more targets than teammate and Week 1 stud Jesse James each of the last two weeks, so he's a solid option if you're looking to ride the hot hand at a volatile position.

Bortles the worst QB in the NFL? Yeah, he doesn't care

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AP

Bortles the worst QB in the NFL? Yeah, he doesn't care

Blake Bortles of America’s Jaguars represents something new and dangerous in American sports, and no, it isn’t because he is the national punch line who punches back.

Rather, the Jacksonville quarterback who is preparing for the AFC Championship Game against the New England Monolith, is dangerous because he seems genuinely not to care at all that he is routinely savaged as the worst quarterback in the National Football League. Not just passive-aggressively so, but actually and completely.

Have you any idea what this does to the smack-talking industry? If this catches on, our generation of semi-malevolent athletic parrots are stuck without a reason to talk that trash.

Of course, Bortles is unusual in this regard, in that he has been mean-mouthed not just by players but by regular citizens. He has been used as a prop for the Why-Isn’t-Colin-Kaepernick-Working movement, he has been compared unkindly to Ty Detmer, the previous low water mark in championship-level quarterbacks, and essentially disparaged almost universally.

Put another way, a case can be made that he has been savaged in his idiom as aggressively as the President.

And what does he do? Well, win, sure, but he has help, as all quarterbacks do. We always seem to forget that in our only-one-position-matters depth of understanding about the sport.

No, what he does is say with all sincerity that he doesn’t care one way or another, and that he never claps back at anyone for their more pointed views re: his skill set. If this is so, he is not only the owner of a rhinoceros hide, but he may be the living embodiment of a movement toward, “Oh, I suck? Yeah, okay, whatever. You’re probably right. You have yourself a good day.”

Andrew Luck does that after receiving a big hit. Bortles seems to do it on command, and if this is the future of sports in America, we are heading for a fascinating new world of relative silence.

But we know better. Bortles is an outlier, again, and this will not catch on. There’s no putting the mess-talk back in the tube. But if it helps, Bortles has another round of grief awaiting him this week as he is compared to Tom Brady . . . as a compost heap is compared to the Taj Mahal.

Only with more F-bombs.