Jaguars negotiations with Trevor Lawrence might've sped up after Jared Goff's deal

• The Jaguars are making progress in contract talks with Trevor Lawrence. They could soon strike a deal.
Dec 31, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16)
Dec 31, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) / Morgan Tencza-USA TODAY Sports

Jared Goff just got a contract extension from the Detroit Lions. The Jacksonville Jaguars took notice and are reportedly making an effort to lock up their own franchise quarterback as soon as possible.

Insider Jeremy Fowler of ESPN said on SportsCenter that the Jags are working on an extension that would play Trevor Lawrence around $50 million per year, noting that negotiations have been positive. Here's what Fowler said, via Bleacher Report.

"I'm told that talks have been progressing fairly nicely, that certainly there's a hope among both sides that they can get this done," Fowler reported Sunday on SportsCenter. "He's three years into his rookie deal so not urgent to have to get it done right this moment but Jacksonville, I'm told, is pretty committed to trying to get this done. This will also be a deal probably above that $50 million range but they are all in on Lawrence, they've been talking."

Lawrence, entering his fourth year in the NFL, is eligible for a contract extension. Because he was a first-round pick, his contract included a fifth-year option. The Jaguars picked it up and guarantees the quarterback a salary of $25.6 million in 2025. However, it may be just a placeholder while they reach a deal.

As Fowler noted, the Jaguars aren't under pressure to lock up Lawrence. In fact, they could use the franchise tag in 2026 to ensure he doesn't go anywhere, but they want to make a full commitment to Lawrence because he's their guy.

Last season, Lawrence completed 65.6 percent of his passes for 4,016 yards with 21 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. His production, compared to the year prior, suffered a bit of a dropoff but he routinely put the Jaguars in a position to win.

The Jaguars are better off paying Trevor Lawrence as soon as possible

Keep in mind that this isn't a Daniel Jones kind of situation. The New York Giants paid Jones because they had no other options. Just one year after giving him a long-term deal, the decision looks questionable. That's not the case with Lawrence, who's already proved in 2022 that he can play at an elite level.

You could make the case that Lawrence is coming off a down season, or that he hasn't lived up to his draft billing but there are a couple things to consider. First, he wasn't nearly as productive as he was in 2022 because his supporting cast was less than ideal. Without solid protection and injuries hindering many key players (including Lawrence himself), Lawrence had to put the team on his shoulders.

Granted, Lawrence must cut down on the forced fumbles and his decision-making could be a bit better. That said, the former Clemson Tiger is probably near the bottom of the list of reasons why the Jaguars collapsed in 2024.

It's also worth noting that the more the Jaguars wait to pay Lawrence, the more money they'll have to shell out. Quarterbacks in the NFL — at least the best ones — get paid on a "who's next basis." Jared Goff is the second-highest-paid quarterback but is by no means the second-best. However, the Detroit Lions are aware of the market, and if the Lions didn't pay Goff, someone else would've. And that's the thing.

The demand for quarterbacks outweighs the supply in the NFL, so teams are willing to make a heavy investment in one if they think he can help them win games. In Lawrence's case, Goff's extension won't likely affect contract talks with the Jaguars, but it may incentivize them to get a deal done. After all, the more they wait to pay him, the more money they'll have to fork out.

Another reason to get Lawrence under contract is that the Jaguars' brass can focus on locking up other players and addressing other position groups. Simply put, they gain nothing by waiting to extend their star quarterback.

That's why it may be just a matter of time before the Jacksonville Jaguars announce they've reached a deal with Trevor Lawrence.

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