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Doug Pederson talks Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence’s impending extension

First Trevor Lawrence spoke about it. Then Trent Baalke spoke about it. Monday was Doug Pederson’s turn.

With edge rusher Josh Allen’s long-term deal completed in April, and free agency and the 2024 NFL draft in the rearview mirror too, the next big item on Baalke’s general management to-do list is locking the Jaguars’ franchise quarterback, Lawrence, in with the club for the foreseeable future.

Asked about the importance of Lawrence’s contract situation being resolved before the 2024 season begins, Pederson shared his hope that a deal can be struck soon to eliminate the potential for a distraction.

“I think it’s part of the business but obviously the sooner you get it done, it’s behind everybody and now we focus on football,” Pederson explained, “So, that’s not lingering and that’s not out there.”

That being said, Pederson believes the negotiations are anything but lingering or stalling, and Lawrence and Pederson’s previous comments back Pederson’s sentiment up.

Lawrence, Jacksonville’s No. 1 overall selection in 2021 and a rising fourth-year NFL player, became eligible for an extension in March at the start of the new league year. By April, he and Baalke shared at the time, negotiations had begun.

“I know Trent and [Lawrence’s] agent they’ve continued to talk and will talk,” Pederson said. “They’re working hard and tirelessly. I’ve just got to coach Trevor, coach football, and hopefully it gets done, and it will.”

Lawrence enters his fourth set of offseason team activities (OTAs) with the Jaguars this week following a 2023 campaign hampered by four varying injuries, although the hurts limited him to only one absence.

Over 16 starts, Lawrence completed 65.6% of his passes for 4,016 yards, 21 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, while the Jaguars went 9-8 and were eliminated from postseason contention with a Week 18 loss to Tennessee.

Still, he enters the 2024 season as Jacksonville’s unquestioned quarterback of the present and future. The Jaguars picked up his fifth-year option in late April, extending the negotiating window for another season and guaranteeing the passer $25,664,000 in 2025, if necessary.

Accordingly, Pederson has high expectations for Lawrence during Phase 3 of the offseason program. The quarterback is tasked with aiding new players, rookies and free agents alike, as they are incorporated into Jacksonville’s system and team culture.

“This time of year obviously the leadership, veteran guy, guys are going to look up to him. How well he incorporates some of the young players that we do have, that we’re working with and developing.

“[Wide receiver] Brian [Thomas Jr.] being one of them now. Working with [center] Mitch [Morse], working with [center] Luke [Fortner], all these guys. Getting time with [wide receiver] Gabe [Davis] and just getting comfortable there but I think just the leadership part of leading this football team and really embracing that this time of year. That carries over to [training] camp.”

Story originally appeared on Jaguars Wire