Trent Baalke, Jaguars ‘working’ on QB Trevor Lawrence’s impending deal

The Jaguars are preparing to make Trevor Lawrence one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL.

They aren’t necessarily in a rush, though. Neither is he.

Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke and Lawrence himself made that much clear during press conferences this week, shedding light on the early stages of negotiations to keep Jacksonville’s 2021 No. 1 overall selection in town for the foreseeable future.

I try not to force anything.  We’ve had some great talks and great conversations. I spoke with his agency again last night,” Baalke revealed on Thursday. “We’re working, but you can’t force this stuff.”

Lawrence’s message was similar.

“I mean, there’s definitely been some conversations. You know, as far as where that’s at now, that’s not really my focus,” Lawrence said. “I’d love to obviously be a Jag, for as long as possible.”

Barring a significant turn of events, it is reasonable to expect Lawrence’s camp to demand top dollar, or close to it, as the deal is worked out. Such is the norm for perceived franchise quarterbacks on the brink of their post-rookie contract payday, and Lawrence has maintained that label over his three seasons with the team.

Baalke effectively confirmed this expectation, comparing the negotiations to those of recently re-signed Jaguars edge rusher Josh Allen.

Allen, Jacksonville’s first-round pick in 2019, inked a five-year extension worth up to $141.5 million with the franchise on April 10. He is now the first $100 million player in Jaguars history, the NFL’s second-highest-paid edge rusher in average annual value ($28.25 million), and his position’s third-highest-paid player in total guarantees ($88 million).

I said the same thing with Josh’s situation, I said it would take some time and it did,” Baalke reflected. “But we’re glad it got completed when it did so we could go into this offseason program knowing that’s behind us and we can move forward.”

Although Lawrence’s rookie contract is not yet approaching its expiration, while Allen was comparatively franchise-tagged in March at the end of his first deal, the proverbial clock is ticking.

The longer Jacksonville goes without extending Lawrence’s contract, the more expensive it will likely become to accomplish, with fellow passers, Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa and Green Bay’s Jordan Love, a year further into their pro careers than Lawrence and expected to impact the market with second deals of their own soon.

Veteran signal-callers, DallasDak Prescott and Detroit’s Jared Goff, will be due extensions or will test free agency within the next year, too.

Accordingly, the Jaguars began contract discussions with Lawrence and his representatives this offseason, when he became eligible to sign one. It remains a work in progress, but not due to a lack of effort at the negotiation table.

We’re working at it, we’ll continue to work at it,” Baalke said. “Ownership is involved, obviously. Coach [Doug Pederson] is involved; we’re going to put our best foot forward and hope to get something accomplished here.”

Jacksonville has until May 2 to pick up Lawrence’s fifth-year option, which includes a fully guaranteed salary of $25,664,000 in 2025, per Over the Cap. If a long-term extension isn’t in place by then, the Jaguars are all but guaranteed to pick the option up.

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