Trevor Lawrence should consider following the Patrick Mahomes path in contract talks

Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence talks with media inside the TV Studio of TIAA Bank Field.
Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence talks with media inside the TV Studio of TIAA Bank Field. / Juston Lewis/Florida Times-Union / USA

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes recently said that he's more concerned about his legacy and winning championships than being the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL. While there's nothing inherently wrong with trying to maximize their earning window, players sometimes chose to leave a bit of money on the table to pursue a Super Bowl ring. This is why Trevor Lawrence should consider following in Mahomes' footsteps, and just like Tom Brady, get a good but not huge contract deal from the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Back in 2020, Mahomes got a 10-year deal worth $503 million that will heavily favor Kansas City in the long run. Not long ago, Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said that the team would like to adjust Mahomes' contract to reflect his status as the best signal-caller in the league. However, Mahomes isn't interested in getting bags of cash thrown at him and would instead prefer the Chiefs to use some of that money to address other areas on the roster.

This is akin to what Tom Brady used to say throughout his playing career. Instead of getting a top-market deal, he would get a contract that would allow the New England Patriots to spend in other positions groups. The approach worked out as the Pats went on to win six Super Bowls with him at the helm. Mahomes' already got two and he's just getting started. By the time he hangs up the cleats, he might have so many rings he won't be able to turn door handles.

Having multiple Super Bowls in sight, Mahomes couldn't care less about being the highest-paid quarterback and is instead looking for ways to help his team. If Trevor Lawrence also wants to get a shot at rising the Lombardy Trophy several times throughout his career, he should consider taking a "team-friendly deal".

Just recently, Lamar Jackson became the highest-paid passer in the league when he got a deal that will pay him an annual average of $52 million. Given the constant rise of salaries at quarterback, Lawrence could get $55 million yearly if he wished to when he's eligible for an extension in 2024.

Trevor Lawrence could help the Jaguars by taking a discount rate in 2023

Something to keep in mind is that players have a limited window to maximize their earnings, so they shouldn't be vilified for wanting the best possible deal. As Hall-of-Fame quarterback Peyton Manning always looked for maximum leverage because managing the cap ultimately falls on the team's shoulders. This is to say that nobody should blame Trevor Lawrence if he wants to be paid. If he keeps playing the way he did in 2022, he'll be in the position to command any amounts he wants next offseason.

On the other hand, he should also consider accepting a discount rate to allow the Jaguars to get him the best possible supporting cast.
For the sake of the argument, let's say Lawrence raises the bar and gets a deal that pays him a yearly average of $55 million, as former general managers Mike Tannenbaum and Rick Spielman suggested earlier this year.

Lawrence will then get the money he wants but the Jags will have a harder time keeping other players that are slated to become free agents such as outside linebacker Josh Allen and wide receiver Calvin Ridley. Simply put, giving Lawrence a premium contract means that they won't be able to afford other players.

Is it fair? Not really but that's how the salary cap works and until the NFL abolishes it, teams must abide by the rules.

The bottom line is that Lawrence will have a chance to become the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL, especially if he has a huge season in 2023. However, he should think about the pros and cons that come with looking for maximum value before he puts his John Hancock on the dotted line. He needs to look at Brady, who chose his legacy over money and things worked out just fine for him.

Next. 4 emerging alphas on the Jaguars roster in 2023. 4 emerging alphas on the Jaguars roster in 2023. dark