Chad Henne is set to become an unrestricted free agent in March, but Jacksonville general manager David Caldwell said the team would like to re-sign him before then, according to Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com.
Caldwell said the Jaguars are currently in the process of wrapping up the season with the coaching staff and personnel group. Once that is complete, he said the team plans to reach out to Henne's representatives to discuss an extension. Henne signed a two-year deal worth $6.75 million prior to the 2012 season.
When he signed that deal, it was to be a backup behind former first-round pick Blaine Gabbert. Injuries and ineffectiveness led to Henne stepping in as the starter, and he started 13 of 16 games last season. He tossed 14 touchdowns compared to 13 interceptions and averaged 6.4 yards per attempt. While those are modest numbers, his experience could also be a big reason why the Jaguars will attempt to re-sign him.
Most expect the Jaguars to draft a quarterback at some point in the upcoming NFL Draft. According to DiRocco, Caldwell and Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley want to have a quarterback on the roster who is familiar with Jacksonville's system. Henne proved to be a more effective player than Gabbert and could serve as the bridge while a young quarterback develops.
Getting a deal done now, before Henne becomes a free agent, could benefit the Jaguars. A number of teams will be in the market for quarterbacks this offseason and Henne could be an attractive option as a No. 2 and possibly even a starter for some teams. Chase Daniel signed a three-year deal worth $10 million to be the No. 2 quarterback in Kansas City last year and Henne could attract a similar offer in free agency.