Jaguars fans should laugh at absurd Trevor Lawrence trade proposal

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

Although Trevor Lawrence didn't improve as much as he was expected in 2023, the Jacksonville Jaguars aren't ready to give up on him. Quite the opposite. They see him as the long-term answer at quarterback and are ready to give him an extension. This makes the idea of moving on from him ridiculous, which is why it was odd to see Bill Barnwell of ESPN suggest it.

Barnwell recently put together a 2024 NFL Mock Draft with trades and had the Jags trading Lawrence for the first overall pick. They would use selection on top quarterback prospect Caleb Williams.

Right off the bat, Barnwell acknowledges it would be absurd. This begs the question, why go ahead and discuss it then? Make no mistake, Caleb Williams is a fine prospect and could end up having a successful NFL career. But he isn't a proven commodity, Lawrence is, even if he's coming off a not-so-great year (by his standards). Here's some of Barwell's reasoning for the trade.

"For the Jaguars, this would be recognizing that they've essentially wasted most of Lawrence's three bargain-basement seasons as a starter. The disaster of the Meyer season led to a desperate second offseason in which they spent over the top to add solid-if-unspectacular players around Lawrence at receiver.

Christian Kirk and Zay Jones were major upgrades, but Calvin Ridley wasn't able to live up to expectations, and they bowed out of bidding for him this offseason after signing Gabe Davis, failing to match Tennessee's offer.

Middling offensive line play hasn't helped Lawrence stay healthy. Starting over with Williams would give the Jags another chance to build around a quarterback with franchise-passer upside while he's still cheap."

Basically, Barnwell says that the Jaguars wasted Lawrence's rookie deal. Therefore, they should move on from him and start over. Based on that logic, the likes of Matthew Stafford, Kirk Cousins, Joe Burrow, and Justin Herbert should be traded because their respective teams didn't maximize the Super Bowl window while they were on their rookie deal.

But for the sake of argument, let's entertain Barnwell's idea. The Jaguars pick Williams and start over. What then? Williams would inherit the supporting cast the front office built for Lawrence. The former USC standout may flash early on but he might not be able to maximize it the way his veteran counterpart would.

After all, Lawrence is no slouch. It's true that he took a step back last year but there were other factors that negatively affected his performance. The porous offensive line was one, and injuries also played a role. Moreover, the defense couldn't stop teams from scoring, which put a bigger burden on Lawrence to put the team on his shoulders and win games.

But as underwhelming as he was last year, It's fair to assume that he'll bounce back in 2024 if he stays healthy and the Jaguars once again put him in a position to succeed.

The Jaguars want to keep Trevor Lawrence for years to come

Trading or letting Trevor Lawrence walk wouldn't make any sense. If he had already peaked, maybe the Jacksonville Jaguars should consider the possibility of looking for his heir apparent, but that hasn't been the case. In fact, they've already started contract talks.

General manager Trent Baalke says that he won't rush things but it wouldn't be surprising to see them get something done before the start of the season. From a team's perspective, they're better off giving Lawrence an extension because the sooner they do it, the cheaper it will be, as quarterback salaries keep going up.

Lawrence, for his part, will be able to check off a box and solely focus on getting back on track. The former Clemson Tiger already showed in 2022 that he can play at a high level. He just has to do it on a consistent basis, and there are reasons to believe he will.

Head coach Doug Pederson acknowledged at the owner's meeting that the team must do a better job of helping him. Based on the moves the Jags have made in the offseason, it seems like Pederson is putting his money where his mouth is.

For starters, the team's brass hired Ryan Nielsen as the defensive coordinator. The unit should experience an improvement with Nielsen at the helm, but his presence will also allow Pederson to be more hands-on with the offense. On top of that, general manager Trent Baalke has made upgrades across the roster.

Signing Arik Armstead was the biggest move the Jags made in the offseason but it was far from the only one. They also inked deep-threat Gabe Davys and brought in veteran Mitch Morse to provide stability at center. On defense, they re-sign key contributors such as Josh Allen and Foyesde Oluokun. With lots of talent on both sides of the ball, Lawrence won't be under as much pressure to win games next season.

The bottom line is that the Jacksonville Jaguars will give you a blank stare if you suggest they move on from Trevor Lawrence. They want him to be their franchise quarterback for years to come and they're making the moves to ensure it happens.

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