Former NFL GM offers wild suggestion to Jaguars about Trevor Lawrence

• The Jaguars could be handing Trevor Lawrence a new contract soon. Former Dolphins GM Randy Mueller thinks it may not be a great idea.
Dec 22, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 22, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

There are several plotlines surrounding Trevor Lawrence this offseason. One is if he'll be able to bounce back after a somewhat disappointing 2023 season. The other is whether the Jacksonville Jaguars will give him a top-market contract and if they'll do it before the start of the regular season. Regarding the later storyline, former Miami Dolphins general manager Randy Mueller isn't sure extending the star quarterback in 2024 would be the best course of action.

Mueller wrote an article for the Athletic (subscription required) in which he took a look at Lawrence's performance and why the Jags should take a wait-and-see approach next season before they hand him a contract extension. Just recently, he made an appearance on 1010 XL to discuss the points he made in his piece.

Basically, Mueller repeats what he wrote, that Lawrence hasn't done enough to warrant top-market money, and that the Jaguars would be better off waiting until 2025 to have a clearer picture.

"This is just my opinion, but I would wait as long as I could in this regard just because I think talent only takes you so far in this business," Muller said. "You've got to eventually develop and become a player that matches that talent."

"With Trevor, again, I think he's got it in him. It just hasn't been seen or it's not as evident to some of us who watch a lot of tape, so I would probably pump the brakes a little bit. But understanding, unless you can make a deal that makes sense to both sides, which nowadays is hard to do — maybe pie in the sky thinking — I would wait if I could and see how this next season plays out," Muller said.

What Mueller suggests with a contract that makes sense for both parties is that Lawrence takes a discount. By his own admission, it would be unlikely. And that's the thing, the former general manager makes some valid points. For example, he argues that his interception rate on third downs was too high. He's right. On the other hand, he fails to take into account one huge reason the former Clemson Tiger struggled last year, mainly the poor protection he got.

Furthermore, drops hurt Lawrence's production. Skilled position players weren't able to reel in what could've been touchdowns. His numbers would've most definitely looked much better if he had gotten a bit more help from his supporting cast. As noted before, most analysts fail to take this into account when discussing his play last year. Here's Muller's full appearance on 1010 XL.

It doesn't make sense for the Jaguars to wait to pay Trevor Lawrence

For context, Randy Mueller was the architect behind the 2007 Dolphins' 1-15 season. During his three-year stint in Miami, running back Ronnie Brown was the only player he drafted who earned a Pro Bowl designation. Not surprisingly, he has not been able to land a job as a general manager in the NFL ever since.

Leaving aside his track record as a GM, Mueller's take would make sense if Trevor Lawrence were an unknown commodity but that's not the case. In his article, he argues that the Jaguars could be stuck with him if they pay him and he doesn't take the next step. He brings up the fact that the New York Giants gave quarterback Daniel Jones an extension after a breakout year and now have buyer's remorse because he regressed.

The issue with that comparison is that Lawrence's career trajectory is different from Jones'. The former was underwhelming as a rookie but that was mostly the product of playing for Urban Meyer. Once Jacksonville got him a competent head coach, the Knoxville, Tennessee native showed significant improvement. In fact, he went on to play like a top-10 quarterback to end the 2022 season.

Sure, Lawrence regressed in 2023 but he's already shown he can play at a high level, something Jones failed to do until he entered a contract year. Moreover, it looks like the Jaguars are already locked in on getting an extension done. Listening to the team's brass, there's no doubt they believe Steezy Trev is their guy moving forward.

The bottom line is that the Jaguars don't gain much by waiting to pay Lawrence. They already saw what his floor was in 2023 and glimpses of his ceiling the year before. Based on the moves they make in the offseason, those flashes should turn into the norm in 2024.

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