5 Jacksonville Jaguars players who must be extended after the cap spike

• The Jaguars will have a bit of extra cap space to work with in 2024. They should consider using it to extend one (or two) of the following players.

Oct 19, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16)
Oct 19, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) / Matthew Hinton-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Trevor Lawrence, quarterback

One of the biggest decisions the Jaguars will have to make in the not-to-distant future is paying Trevor Lawrence. However, a handful of factors make it easier said than done. For starters, he's coming off a relatively down year. While Lawrence wasn't necessarily bad, he failed to take the next step in his development. Playing behind a porous offensive line didn't help much. As a matter of fact, the poor protection he got exposed him to injuries.

On the other hand, Lawrence showed as recently as 2022 that he's a franchise-caliber quarterback, playing a massive role in the Jaguars' playoff run. It's fair to assume that he'll bounce back and have a banner season if he's healthy and the team's brass addresses the offensive trenches. However, that may not be enough for him to get an extension.

Steezy Trev has already said he'd like a new contract but it's not his main focus in 2024. The counterpoint is that Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert got a new deal in their third NFL season, respectively, so the Jags could feel pressured to give one to Lawrence.

And that's the thing, the Los Angeles Chargers and the Cincinnati Bengals extended Herbert and Burrow, respectively because they knew that the more they postponed the decision, the more money they would have to fork out. The top signal-callers in the league get top-market rates even if they aren't the best due to the scarce supply at the position. And when it comes to the Jaguars, they don't have to extend Lawrence in 2024 but it will be costly if they wait.

After all, Jacksonville can pick up the fifth-year option in his rookie deal, so he's under contract through 2025. They can then use the franchise tag and he would become a free agent in 2027. While they will have kept Lawrence at a relatively bargain price for three years, salaries for quarterbacks will have skyrocketed by then, so sooner or later, they'll have to pay their star quarterback, and if they wait, it won't come cheap.

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