Jaguars To Exercise Fifth-Year Options On Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne

Much of the attention around the football world has been focused on the draft in recent days, but the deadline on fifth-year option decisions is approaching. The Jaguars had a pair of calls to make regarding quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne.

In both cases, the options will be picked up, general manager Trent Baalke said during his post-draft press conference. Lawrence will therefore collect $22.66MM in 2025, while Etienne will receive $6.14MM. With respect to the former in particular, though, this decision could easily serve as a placeholder for a long-term extension.

Talks on a new deal with Lawrence are ongoing, and the monster extension recently worked out with edge rusher Josh Allen has cleared a major item of the Jags’ offseason to-do list. Next up will likely be a second pact with Lawrence, as ascending passers have increasingly been extended within their first offseason of eligibility. Baalke is optimistic something can worked out, though he has preached patience with respect to terms being finalized.

Like the rest of the team, Lawrence struggled as a rookie under head coach Urban Meyer. The arrival of Doug Pederson as a replacement sparked a major uptick in production and a run to the divisional round of the playoffs. Injuries throughout the 2023 campaign limited the 24-year-old’s success and led to missed action for the first time in his NFL tenure. Even when at full strength, though, Jacksonville’s offense struggled and the team wound up outside the postseason picture.

Last offseason saw four young QBs – Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, Lamar Jackson and Jalen Hurts – surpass $50MM in terms of the annual average value of their extensions. Many have pointed to Lawrence as the next in line to approach the top of the market, although the generally underwhelming nature of his time in Duval County to date could hurt his value. In any case, Lawrence will lock in an AAV much higher than the value of his option if a Jags extension can be agreed to in the near future.

Etienne was selected late in the 2021 first round to continue his time alongside Lawrence. The pair formed a dynamic duo at Clemson, and expectations were high for Etienne once he was able to take the field at the NFL level. After missing his rookie season due to injury, the 25-year-old had a strong showing in 2022 (1,125 yards, five touchdowns on the ground; 316 receiving yards). This past campaign saw a notable drop in efficiency, though – Etienne averaged 3.8 yards per carry, down from 5.1.

Jacksonville is aiming to share the load more in the backfield this season, with Etienne having logged 580 touches to date. The team’s draft efforts in that regard consisted of adding Keilan Robinson in the fifth round. Regardless of how the workload is divvied up, Etienne will no doubt be counted on as a key figure in the Jags’ offense for the foreseeable future knowing he will be in place over at least the next two years.

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