The Jacksonville Jaguars have several boxes to check off in the upcoming months. Among the things they need to take care of is making sure outside linebacker Josh Allen stays long-term and finding a way to keep wide receiver Calvin Ridley around. The Jags also need to start planning for Trevor Lawrence's extension but that may not be one of their top priorities right now.
General manager Trent Baalke met with the local media Thursday and talked about the importance of retaining both Ridley and Allen. However, when the conversation shifted toward giving Lawrence a long-term deal, he had a less assertive in tone.
"Trevor had another learning year like we all do when we're a third-year guy in this league," Baalke said. "I think he did see, there's some areas he made great strides and you look at it you look at this season, one thing we got to do is we got to two things. It works both ways. We got to do a better job of keeping him safe and protected and he's got to do a better job of protecting himself. Unfortunately, he had four key injuries this year."
"When your quarterback has a throwing shoulder injury and knee injury and ankle injury and a concussion all in one year. That's alarming. We got to work to improve that. And that's not one factor. There's a lot of things that contribute to that. But we do have to do a better job there. But as far as Trevor and his long-term relationship with this team, there's no doubt that we're going to get something done at the appropriate time," Baalke said.
Lawrence is coming off an injury-marred year. Without a functional running game and minimal time to throw, he had added pressure to win games. This made him at times look for big plays instead of taking the safe completion, which in turn led to turnovers. Not helping matters is that he dealt with a myriad of injuries throughout the season, as Baalke noted.
First, Lawrence suffered a knee injury. He then sprained his ankle. Later, he suffered a concussion, and last but not least, he sprained his throwing shoulder in Week 16. Despite all the ailments, he only missed one game. However, his play suffered a noticeable drop.
In spite of all the setbacks, Lawrence routinely made enough plays to put the Jaguars in a position to win. It's fair to assume that with enough time to recover and if the team makes upgrades to the offensive line, he'll once again play like a top-10 quarterback, which is why the organization should make an effort to extend him.
Last August, Trent Baalke said on the Rich Eisen Show that getting a deal done with Trevor Lawrence was going to happen sooner rather than later. But based on his latest comments, this may not be the year the former Clemson Tiger gets an extension.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have ample time to give Trevor Lawrence an extension
Last year, Lamar Jackson, Jalen Hurts, Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert signed contracts that pay them an average of $50 million or more per year. So the sooner the Jacksonville Jaguars can work out a long-term deal with Trevor Lawrence, the cheaper it will be. Given that the rates for the top quarterbacks routinely go up, it wouldn't be shocking to see Lawrence get a contract that pays him an annual average of $55 million.
Having said that, the Jags may have more pressing priorities right now. The fact that they can pick up the fifth-year contract on his rookie deal and use the franchise tag in 2026 ensures that they have at least a couple more years to get an extension done. The downside of waiting is that they'll have to give him a bigger contract. Then again, that's something they can worry about later. Right now, their priority should be keeping both Josh Allen and Calvin Ridley and fixing the offensive line.
Once the Jaguars address those things, they should then focus on extending Trevor Lawrence, even if they have to wait until 2025. In the end, both parties would benefit. By making upgrades to the roster, Lawrence will have a much better supporting cast, which should lead to an improved performance. And if he plays better, he should then get a better deal.