NFL Notes: Jaguars Exercise 5th-year Option on QB Blake Bortles

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars have exercised a fifth-year option on quarterback Blake Bortles, a move executive vice president Tom Coughlin calls a "smart business decision."

The 2018 option is guaranteed for injury only, so the Jaguars could decide to cut Bortles if he struggles again in 2017 and avoid paying him about $18 million in the final year of his deal.

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If Bortles plays well and looks like a long-term solution at the all-important position, the Jaguars would work on an extension to keep Bortles in town beyond 2018. If not, they'll be in the market for a quarterback in next year's QB-rich draft.

Coughlin says: "This is a smart business decision for the team for several reasons. It makes sense for us going forward, and it's good for Blake and for the Jaguars."

Bills: Sign CB Shareece Wright
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills have added experienced depth to their young secondary by signing veteran free agent cornerback Shareece Wright.

Wright has six years of NFL experience and had 15 starts in 23 games with Baltimore over the two previous seasons. The Southern California product was selected by San Diego in the third round of the 2011 draft. He had 27 starts in 44 games over four seasons with the Chargers.

Listed at 5-foot-11 and 182 pounds, Wright has just one interception.

The Bills filled a need at cornerback after losing starter Stephon Gilmore and primary backup Nickell Robey-Coleman in free agency.

Buffalo drafted LSU cornerback Tre'Davious White in the first round of the draft to compete for the starting job opposite third-year player Ronald Darby.

Steelers: Backup QB Mettenberger released
PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers have released backup quarterback Zach Mettenberger.

Mettenberger saw his roster spot taken when the team drafted former Tennessee quarterback Josh Dobbs in the fourth round of last weekend's NFL draft. Pittsburgh also signed undrafted rookie free agent Nick Schuessler.

Pittsburgh signed Mettenberger last summer as insurance after second-stringer Bruce Gradkowski was injured during the preseason. Mettenberger did not make an appearance for Pittsburgh while playing behind Ben Roethlisberger and Landry Jones.

Mettenberger started 10 games across two seasons with the Tennessee Titans in 2014 and 2015, going 0-10 in the process.

49ers: Ward;s 5th year option exercised
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers have exercised the fifth-year option on defensive back Jimmie Ward for the 2018 season.

Ward signed a four-year contract after being picked 30th overall in 2014. The 49ers had until Wednesday to decide whether to exercise an option for 2018 and opted Monday to keep Ward under contract. The deal for the fifth year will be guaranteed for injury only.

Ward has played in 35 games with 18 starts in his first three seasons. He has 117 tackles, 19 passes defensed, two sacks and two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown. He started a career-high 10 games last year with 64 tackles, one interception and a career-best 12 passes defensed.

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