Trevor Lawrence signing his rookie contract shows delay wasn’t a big deal

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (Photo by Logan Bowles/NFL via Getty Images)
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (Photo by Logan Bowles/NFL via Getty Images) /

There are many hurdles Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence needs to overcome before he plays a snap in the NFL. He needs to have a good grasp of the offense and needs to recover from a hamstring injury he sustained not long ago. On the other hand, singing his rookie deal is now out of the way, and can now focus on getting ready for the season opener.

Lawrence inked a four-year deal worth $36.8 million that includes $24.1 million in guaranteed money and the standard fifth-year option per Adam Schefter of ESPN. His signing bonus will be paid within 15 business days and the contract doesn’t have offset language, meaning that the Jags will still be on the hook even if they release him. Also, most of his compensation in 2022, 2023, and 2004 will come in roster bonuses.

Not long ago, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reported that a contract hadn’t gotten done because the Jaguars hadn’t “found a sweet spot“, with the offset language hindering negotiations. Now, even if if the deal weren’t ready, this wasn’t really something to worry about. You want to have your rookies ready to play by training camp but the truth is that drawing up first-year contracts is not the daunting task it was before the NFL’s 2011 collective bargaining agreement came into effect.

Before 2011, it was common for rookies to hold out and their absence could extend into the regular season. Holdouts are now rare and most of the time. Salaries for first-time players are now fixed and there’s not much to wiggle. Most of the contract negotiations center on the offset language and how the bonuses will be distributed over the duration of the deal. Here’s what Lawrence had to say after the team announced he signed the contract, “gonna give #Duval everything I got. Couldn’t be more proud to represent Jacksonville. Let’s go!!!”

Trevor Lawrence can now focus on getting ready for Week 1.

This was never going to become an issue. The Jaguars couldn’t afford to let it become one and fighting over offset language would have been counterproductive. Lawrence has the potential to become the franchise quarterback the team has lacked. They need to do everything they can to get him ready to play in Week 1. It currently looks like that will be the case.

The former Tiger didn’t suffer any setbacks from the shoulder surgery he underwent earlier this year. On the other hand, he injured his hamstring during Jacksonville’s organized team activities and the coaching staff limited his workload as a cautionary measure. Nevertheless, he’s continued putting in plenty of work and will most likely achieve his goal of mastering the playbook by training camp.

Trevor Lawrence isn’t the only quarterback the Jaguars have drafted in the first round of the draft over the last 20 years. However, he’s the most talented one and the one with the highest ceiling. Also, he may be the one facing the highest expectations as the first overall pick in 2021’s draft. Although you need more than just a quarterback to win football games, the 2020 ACC Football Player of the Year is the most important player in the Jaguars’ rebuild.

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