NFL talking head comes up with baffling reason the Jaguars paid Trevor Lawrence

• The Jaguars just made Trevor Lawrence one of the highest-paid QBs in the NFL. Emmanuel Acho believes doesn't think he got paid because of his accomplishments in the pros.
Dec 19, 2020; Charlotte, NC, USA;  Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 19, 2020; Charlotte, NC, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars are convinced Trevor Lawrence is their guy. That's why they didn't hesitate to give him a five-year deal worth $275 million with $200 guaranteed that makes him the highest-paid player in the NFL alongside Joe Burrow. While he can certainly play better, he's shown enough to make you think he's the long-term answer behind center. However, a talking head doesn't think Steezy Trev deserved to get paid and only did because of his accomplishments in college.

Emmanuel Acho of FS1 said on Speak that Lawrence only got an extension because of what he did at Clemson, pointing out that he hasn't been nearly as productive or consistent as he was expected coming out of college.

"Trev is getting paid not because of what he's done in the NFL. He's getting paid for what he did in Clemson, "Acho said. "Because what he did at Clemson allowed us to think about this marvelous upside, upside that we have not seen on a consistent basis. We've seen at a times. No doubt about it, like Shady [McCoy]'s talked about it, Dave's talked about it. We've seen flashes but you cannot pay a quarterback $55 million a year because flashes."

Acho continued, "You got to pay him for what he does consistently. If Trevor Lawrence was drafted where Brock Purdy was drafted, he likely would be a backup. But he was drafted No. 1 overall and he was heralded as one of the most talented prospects that we've seen since Andrew Luck. As a result, he's the highest-paid quarterback on an average annual value in the National Football League."

"So we got to start assessing the talent space based upon what they're doing in real-time, not what they didn't past times. Where I'm at with Dave Helman is, he's really getting paid because of a name on the back end of his jersey. He's getting paid because that last name says Lawrence. I just can't justify right now $55 [million]."

Regardless of who held the top pick in 2021, Lawrence was going to go first overall. He caught the national spotlight because he led Clemson to the College National Championship game as a freshman in 2018. They got there again the following year but lost to LSU. Still, the Knoxville, Tennesse native's stock was soaring ahead of the draft.

In the end, Lawrence went to the Jags. He had an underwhelming rookie year but that's mostly because he didn't have the right coach in place to help him with the transition, nor the supporting cast to succeed. Realizing that they needed to put their quarterback in a position to succeed, Jacksonville got him better weapons and hired Doug Pederson as the head coach after 2021.

Lawrence showed immediate improvement under Pederson and was a big reason the Jags made the playoffs and won the AFC South in their first season together. After his success, he was expected to keep getting better but instead regressed. In particular, his number of turnovers went up. On the other hand, the Prince was dealing with injuries that hampered his performance.

Furthermore, the running game was non-existent, so Lawrence had additional pressure to perform. To make matters worse, his supporting cast wasn't particularly great. But despite coming off a somewhat underwhelming season, the Jaguars knew he's their franchise quarterback. Sure, they want him to play better but feel comfortable giving him top-market money because they've seen what he's capable of doing.

Here's the full clip of Emmanuel Acho debating the decision to give Trevor Lawrence a top-market extension. Whether you agree with him or not, it's worth a listen.

Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence has come a long way since his Clemson days

Lawrence has had ups and downs throughout his NFL career. But that's understandable. No process is linear. Moreover, he hasn't always gotten help from the Jacksonville Jaguars. That said, he's shown he's capable of winning football games. Before he got hurt last year, he was 15-3 dating back to 2022.

If you think like Emmanuel Acho and the Speak panel that quarterbacks must get paid based on wins, Lawrence has certainly delivered. Keep in mind that he last took a snap at Clemson more than four years ago. The Jags have surely seen plenty to come up with their own conclusions. This is to say that what the quarterback did at the college level had no bearing on Jacksonville's decision to give him a monster extension.

Acho notes that he's seen flashes but would like Lawrence to be more consistent. The issue with that assessment is that he's already performing well. In fact, he was generally the reason Jacksonville had a chance week in and week on last year. For proof, here are more than 30 minutes of highlights.

It's true that Lawrence can certainly play better but the Jaguars are fully confident that he's the long-term answer. If they weren't they wouldn't have given him a massive extension. And that's another thing, the Jaguars know Lawrence is their guy, so they got ahead of the curve and paid him before salaries at the position went up. The extension really kicks in until 2026, so by getting a deal done now, they saved themselves a few million dollars.

The bottom line is that Acho may not like it (or pretend that he doesn't) but the Jaguars didn't have to wait any longer. And if things play the way they expect, he'll be soon talking about how great the decision was.

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