Respected NFL voice argues the Jaguars got it right with Trevor Lawrence's deal

• A prominent NFL voice strongly believes that the Jaguars made the right decision when they gave Trevor Lawrence a top-market contract extension.
Dec 22, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence (16) at New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 22, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence (16) at New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Some analysts wondered whether Trevor Lawrence deserved to get paid a top-market extension. Regardless of what they thought, the Jacksonville Jaguars went ahead and gave him a deal that made him one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the league. So far, reactions have been positive. Rich Eisen, for one, believes the Jags made the right call by paying him now instead of waiting like the Dallas Cowboys have with Dak Prescott.

Eisen argued on the Rich Eisen Show that if a team has seen enough of his quarterback three years into his rookie deal, they should go ahead and lock up him.

"If you believe the quarterback that you have seen in the first three or four years of his professional playing career has done any of the following or a combination of the following," Eisen said. "One, show you a path to a championship with his play or his leadership skills, has put in the time has shown that he, in your opinion, is a true lead pipe building professional."

Eisen continued, "If he has shown all that and also been good in the community and has also been good in the locker room and is somebody that has given zero concerns of being a bad apple. If that person also came in highly touted."

"If that person is somebody who the general manager there is hired for you, as a head coach has come in separately, and you have together individually collectively as an organization, as well as a front office or coaching staff, everybody rowing in the same direction. Doesn't matter what you think you have to pay a market value. That market value was what Trevor Lawrence got."

The Jaguars have most certainly seen Lawrence, who's shown he can play at a high level and has grown on and off the field since the end of his rookie season. Realizing that they didn't help their star quarterback enough last year, they made several moves that will put him in a position to succeed in 2024.

Eisen goes on to say that the alternative was to let Lawrence's contract expire and either give him an even bigger deal or start over at the position. Neither option was appealing.

"Your other option is to let him play out his deal and show you what he can do for you. Go all in if you will, wind up putting him on the Kirk Cousins plan, which is franchise tag, and making him think maybe you're not all in on him because you haven't given him security and a contract," Eisen said.

"Or you make a play it out and then go to free agency and get an older quarterback with more miles to the gallon already, more miles on the tires. Do you do that? Or do you go back into the draft and start all over again because you're not going to pay market value?"

Lawrence experienced a dropoff in production last year but he was far from the main reason the Jaguars failed to qualify for the playoffs. Although the former Clemson Tiger isn't as highly regarded as other quarterbacks in the league, he was playing at a high level before the injury bug struck.

Of course, the new contract comes with expectations but Lawrence should live up to them now that his healthy and surrounded with much better talent. Here's the full clip of Eisen discussing the decision to give the fourth-year quarterback a massive deal.

The Jaguars avoided a Dak Prescott kind of situation by paying Trevor Lawrence

Later in the discussion, Eisen points out that it might've hurt the Jaguars to take a wait-and-see approach like the Dallas Cowboys have with Dak Prescott. By waiting until the last possible minute to give Prescott a contract extension, Big D had to overpay him.

Prescott is now entering a contract year and the Cowboys' lack of urgency to pay him could come back to haunt them. The two most likely outcomes will be letting him walk next year or overpaying him once again.

It's also worth noting that by locking up Trevor Lawrence right now, they're saving themselves plenty of money. On top of that, because he had two years left on his current deal, they can spread the cap hit, something Dallas wasn't able to do with Prescott.

In the end, the Jacksonville Jaguars have seen enough of Trevor Lawrence to know he's their guy. Thus, it doesn't matter what analysts and talking heads think. That said, it will be interesting to see how he fares once he no longer has to worry about getting paid. Based on how he's performed, though, the Jags probably have nothing to worry about.

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