Jaguars GM Trent Baalke knows Trevor Lawrence's payday coming sooner rather than later

• Trevor Lawrence is the face of the franchise for the Jaguars

• He's eligible for a contract extension in 2024

• GM Trent Baalke is aware the payday is coming

Aug 12, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA;  Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4).
Aug 12, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4). / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Trevor Lawrence has emerged as one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL, and the fact that he's currently on his rookie deal allows the Jacksonville Jaguars to surround him with the best possible talent. However, the time will come when the Jags will need to pay him and they know it's coming.

Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke recently made an appearance on the Rich Eisen Show and touched on several topics, including Lawrence's incoming payday.

"The expectation that we're all aware of, it's going to happen sooner rather than later," Baalke told host Rich Eisen in regard to Lawrence's next contract. "But we got a lot of balls to play this year and we'll worry about that when the time comes."

Lawrence, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, put up pretty good numbers last season, completing 66.3 percent of his passes for 4,113 yards with 25 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He's eligible for a contract extension next year and locking up long-term will be one of the organization's top priorities. Baalke knows that though.

Earlier this year, the Jaguars' general manager noted the 2024 offseason will be big, with several prominent players scheduled to hit the open marker. He went on to say that they have been planning for two or three yards down the road.

This is to say that the Jaguars are aware they must pay Lawrence but they also have other players up for extensions. Among them are wide receiver Calvin Ridley, outside linebacker Josh Allen, who are set to become free agents next offseason. Similarly, safety Andre Cisco, cornerback Tyson Campbell, and offensive tackle Walker Little will all be entering the last year of their rookie deals in 2024. Here's Baalke's full exchange with Eisen.

The Jaguars will give Trevor Lawrence a deal that reflects his status as a top NFL QB

Just recently, Justin Herbert got a monster deal and Joe Burrow's probably next. Each time a franchise quarterback strikes a new deal, the rate at the position goes up, and that's because the demand exceeds the supply. This is why clubs will make a quarterback the highest-paid even if he's not currently the best in the league.

Simply, there aren't starting-caliber quarterbacks in the league, so clubs will devote considerable resources to either keeping or getting one. The Jaguars know this first-hand. After years of searching for an answer at the position, they stumbled upon Lawrence in 2021. Now that they have long-term stability at quarterback, they'll do anything they can to keep Lawrence in place.

That said, there are several decisions the Jaguars must make before paying Lawrence and they must take advantage of the window of opportunity his rather affordable rookie deal provides. Once he gets a contract extension, it will be considerably harder to retain their own players or make a splash signing in free agency.

Giving Trevor Lawrence a contract that reflects his status as one of the best quarterbacks in the league will be key for the Jaguars. But before they get a deal done, they must check off other boxes on their to-do list.

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