The Jaguars financially incentivized Canadian quarterback Nathan Rourke to sign his three-year contract with Jacksonville.
The 24-year-old received a $5,000 signing bonus along with $216,000 in guaranteed base salary to total $221,000 USD in monetary assurances. At a minimum, it would seem to indicate that the six-foot-two, 209-pound passer could be on the Jags’ practice squad for one season. Change can happen fast in the NFL and there are a number of scenarios that have the possibility of playing out.
Jacksonville selected generational talent Trevor Lawrence with the first-overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and he’s expected to be entrenched as the team’s starter long-term. Veteran backup C.J. Beathard re-signed for two years, getting $2 million in guaranteed money with a maximum value of $4.5 million. Rourke was given “reassurance” from the Jaguars that he would be able to compete to back up Lawrence.
To do it he’ll have to compete and beat out Beathard, who was signed as a free agent by general manager Trent Baalke in March 2021. The 29-year-old worked with Doug Pederson and earned his respect while being a second set of eyes for Lawrence. Jacksonville released E.J. Perry on Tuesday, which might be a positive sign for Rourke. Kelly was signed as an undrafted free agent and made $230,000 USD while on the Jags’ practice squad last season.
Following a breakout CFL season with the B.C. Lions, Rourke worked out for 12 NFL teams. Quarterbacks coach Mike McCoy, a 20-year NFL coaching veteran who briefly played for the Calgary Stampeders in 1999, put Rourke through the paces in Florida during his stop in Jacksonville this past December. Pederson, a Super Bowl winner as a bench boss with the Philadelphia Eagles, was also in attendance. It’s worth noting Jacksonville carried three quarterbacks in 2022, Lawrence and Beathard on the active roster and Perry on practice squad.
There are a lot of positive signs for Rourke starting his career in professional football south of the border while working towards his stated goal to become an NFL starter. The financial component should give him the ability to chase his dream and see how it plays out.