Jacksonville Jaguars release E.J. Perry, leaving Nathan Rourke as one of three QBs on roster

Photos courtesy: AP/Gary McCullough & Jimmy Jeong/CFL. Photo edit: 3DownNation.

The Jacksonville Jaguars released quarterback E. J. Perry on Tuesday, leaving Nathan Rourke as one of three remaining passers on the roster.

Perry joined the Jaguars after going unselected in the 2022 NFL Draft out of Brown University. He threw for 293 yards, one touchdowns, and three interceptions during the preseason and was waived at the conclusion of training camp. He was subsequently signed to the practice roster, which is where is spent the entire regular season.

The 24-year-old was a two-time first-team All-Ivy League selection as a member of the Brown Bears, throwing for 5,970 yards, 45 touchdowns, and 27 interceptions. The six-foot-two, 211-pound passer originally committed to Boston College but transferred to Brown following one season with the Eagles.

The Jaguars now have only three quarterbacks under contract for 2023, including Rourke, Trevor Lawrence, and C. J. Beathard.

Lawrence is firmly entrenched as Jacksonville’s starter following a Pro Bowl season in which he threw for 4,113 yards, 25 touchdowns, and eight interceptions and led the team to its first playoff victory since 2017. The former first overall NFL draft pick is currently signed through 2024 and will presumably have his fifth-year option exercised next off-season, tying him to the Jaguars through 2025.

Beathard is a former third-round pick out of Iowa who signed with Jacksonville in 2021 following a four-year stint with the San Francisco 49ers. He signed a two-year contract extension with the team last month worth a total of $4.5 million, including $2 million in guaranteed money.

NFL teams are only permitted to dress two quarterbacks on their game-day rosters. The league used to have a third quarterback designation but it was eliminated back in 2011, a decision that recently drew criticism after San Francisco lost quarterbacks Brock Purdy and Josh Johnson to injury during the NFC Championship Game.

Rourke worked out for 12 NFL teams following a standout year with the B.C. Lions before signing a three-year contract with the Jags. Hall of Fame quarterback Henry Burris currently serves as the team’s offensive quality control coach.

Rourke completed 78.7 percent of his pass attempts for 3,349 yards, 25 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions over 10 games in 2022. He also recorded 39 carries for 304 yards and seven touchdowns, becoming the first quarterback to win the CFL’s Most Outstanding Canadian award since 1980.

The 24-year-old went 8-1 as a starter before undergoing surgery in August to repair a Lisfranc sprain in his foot. Though the injury was originally thought to be season-ending, he was able to return for the final week of the regular season and play the first quarter of a meaningless contest against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

The native of Victoria, B.C. started the West Semi-Final the following week and threw for 321 yards and two touchdowns in a 30-16 victory over the Calgary Stampeders. He and his team were eliminated from postseason contention against Winnipeg the following week after he threw for 300 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions in a 28-20 loss in the West Final.