Jaguars, QB Trevor Lawrence Begin Contract Extension Conversations

The biggest move of the Jaguars’ offseason foreshadowed one of the most important items next on general manager Trent Baalke’s to-do list.

Edge rusher Josh Allen, who was placed on the franchise tag in March after five seasons and 45 sacks compiled with Jacksonville, signed a five-year contract extension worth up to $141.5 million with the club last week, making him the first $100 million contract signee in Jaguars history.

If any player on the roster is next in line for a similar deal, it’s quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Accordingly, the topic of Allen’s extension — and if one is imminent for the rising fourth-year signal caller — arose during Lawrence’s Tuesday press conference with the voluntary offseason workout program underway in Jacksonville.

“He was here two years before I got here, and the three years that I’ve been here, just consistent, one of the hardest workers on the team, dependable,” Lawrence described Allen. “You know, as a person in the locker room, the right type of guy you want. So, he checks all the boxes that you want as a leader on your team and obviously is a great player too. 

“I was just excited to get him back. You know, because there’s a lot of teams that I’m sure would’ve loved to have Josh Allen on their team.”

While it took Allen five seasons of production, including a peak year in 2023 with 17.5 sacks, to ink a long-term deal, Lawrence’s situation isn’t considered likely to stall or demand a prove-it campaign.

The first overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, Lawrence’s pairing with head coach Doug Pederson lifted Jacksonville to back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2004-05 in the past two years, including the team’s run to the 2022-23 AFC Divisional Round.

Fittingly, Jaguars personnel and Lawrence’s representatives have initiated discussions about an extension now that the quarterback is eligible to sign one. However, Lawrence indicated that he’s not hurrying to finalize the terms.

“I mean, there’s definitely been some conversations,” Lawrence shared. “You know, as far as where that’s at now, that’s not really my focus.” 

For now, Lawrence and the Jaguars are fixated on the offseason program and the task ahead, as the team aims to rebound from its end-of-season collapse in 2023. After starting the season 8-3, Jacksonville finished 1-5 in its final six games and was eliminated from playoff contention in Week 18.

Lawrence was hobbled from Week 6 on, with injuries forcing him to play hurt in several contests and out of one game and multiple stretches of practice: A Week 6 knee bruise, a Week 13 high ankle sprain, a Week 15 concussion and a Week 16 sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder.

With a return to full health this past March, aspirations for the team’s return to the playoffs and his own improvement in 2024 and beyond, Lawrence shared confidence in the franchise’s direction and his desire to lock in with Jacksonville long-term.

“I’d love to obviously be a Jag, for as long as possible. We love it here and I love where we’re headed as an organization and feel like I’m just getting better every year. My best ball is definitely ahead of me,” Lawrence said. “So, from that standpoint obviously yeah, that would be great. 

“But going into my fourth year, it’s not like this is necessarily going to be my last season. You know, there’s a lot that could happen. So, not really my focus right now. At the end of the day, my job isn’t going to change whether I get extended or not before this season. My job is to go win games and to be the best I can be for this team so we can have a chance to win a Super Bowl.”

Jacksonville has until May 2 to pick up Lawrence’s fifth-year option with a fully guaranteed salary of $25,664,000 in 2025, according to Over the Cap. It would effectively extend the window to negotiate a long-term contract.

Whether the Jaguars enforce that option or sooner sign the passer to an extension, Lawrence is approaching his role as Jacksonville’s franchise quarterback without money on his mind.

“Even if I get the contract extension, that’s still my job, even more so. You know, there’s even more expectation and pressure on that,” Lawrence expressed. “So, for me, I have the same focus and the same mindset. 

“I can’t lie, obviously it would be nice to have that done, and, you know, feel good about it. But no, it’s not really the focus right now. I know where we’re at, I know where we’re heading, and I have to do. You know, there’s some improvements that I have to make going forward.” 

Through 50 regular season games with the Jaguars, each of which he’s started, Lawrence has completed 63.8% of his 1,750 passes for 11,770 yards with 58 touchdowns and 39 interceptions. He’s added 964 yards and 11 scores on the ground.

Story originally appeared on Jaguars Wire