Trevor Lawrence

Jaguars, Trevor Lawrence Finalize Extension

JUNE 14: Further details on the Lawrence accord have emerged. To no surprise, the pact contains a no-trade clause, as first reported by CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones. The cash flow through the first new year consists of $82.66MM, which falls short of the Burrow pact.

Still, Lawrence has secured a long-term Jags commitment with this pact. PFT’s Mike Florio details that the first three years consist of fully guaranteed base salaries along with $35MM option bonuses locked in at signing. Of the $41MM he is due in 2027, $29MM is already guaranteed. Another $12MM will shift from an injury to a full guarantee in 2026. Likewise, his 2028 option bonus ($35MM) and salary ($11MM) will vest one year early. $6MM in incentives as well as non-guaranteed 2029 and ’30 salaries round out the monster investment.

JUNE 13: Another domino in the quarterback market will fall in Jacksonville. Weeks ahead of training camp, Trevor Lawrence‘s extension is done. It will match Joe Burrow‘s NFL contract record.

The former No. 1 overall pick agreed to a five-year, $275MM extension Thursday,’s Ian Rapoport reports. The deal will include $200MM guaranteed in total and $142MM guaranteed at signing. Part of the guarantee will come from a $37.5MM signing bonus, Rapoport adds, spreading out the quarterback’s cap hits.

The latter two marks are not NFL standards, but at $55MM per year, Lawrence has checked in alongside the player chosen first overall a year before him. Since the Jaguars picked up Lawrence’s fifth-year option, his extension will run through the 2030 season. Lawrence joins Patrick Mahomes as the only players signed into the 2030s.

This certainly marks a pivotal offseason for the Jaguars, who reached a lucrative extension with Josh Allen not long after franchise-tagging their top pass rusher. New deals for Lawrence and Allen will change the equation for the Jags, who could not do too much to capitalize on their quarterback’s rookie contract. Though, the Jags had sunk low before landing Lawrence and did not begin a legitimate recovery effort until the QB’s second season, as the Urban Meyer year kept the franchise in the NFL’s basement.

Lawrence, however, has shown promise under Doug Pederson. The Clemson product best displayed his talents during the second half of the 2022 season, which brought a Jags surge to the AFC South title and a 27-point comeback over the Chargers in the wild-card round. The team did not build on this last season, collapsing down the stretch — as Lawrence battled multiple injuries — and missing the playoffs. Pederson and Trent Baalke will now be tasked with forming a winning team around a $55MM-per-year quarterback contract.

In terms of guarantees, Lawrence’s marks check in third in both categories. No one has come close to approaching the $230MM fully guaranteed Deshaun Watson commanded from the Browns; Burrow came closest, at $146.5MM. Lawrence’s full guarantee checks in between Burrow and Lamar Jackson ($135MM). His total guarantee comes in between Burrow’s ($219MM) and Justin Herbert‘s ($193.7MM). Lawrence has not reached the heights of any QB in this salary range, counting Watson’s Texans success, so this deal represents good news for the likes of Tua Tagovailoa and Jordan Love. It also will help Dak Prescott gain more leverage in his latest talks with the Cowboys.

The salary cap’s record rise to $255.4MM — a $30MM-plus increase — placed this QB contingent as clear candidates to join the $50MM-AAV club, which formed last year when Jackson, Herbert, Burrow and Jalen Hurts each signed extensions. Jared Goff signed an extension that made him second only to Burrow in the league; the Lions QB drops to third after this Lawrence agreement.

Lawrence joined Burrow, Herbert and a host of other first-round QBs in the rookie-scale era to sign an extension before his fourth season. This both locks the Jaguars centerpiece into a veteran salary (as opposed to a $1.1MM number he was previously due in 2024) during his first offseason of extension eligibility, but it stands to help the team through a long-term lens. It gives Jacksonville seven years of control on its quarterback.

Mahomes’ outlier contract, in place since 2020, runs through 2031. QBs have steered clear of any extension of that length. But the Burrow, Herbert and Lawrence accords tie the QBs to their teams for seven years. Lawrence’s contract going through 2030 gives the Jags some cost certainty for the foreseeable future. As the cap keeps climbing, that will help the team’s cause — even if it will mean a tougher go through a roster-building standpoint in the short term.

Lawrence’s poor rookie-year showing under Meyer and injury-plagued 2023 did not give the Jags an extensive sample of success, making this megadeal stand out from some of the other monster pacts awarded to QBs in the recent past. They could have conceivably, as the Dolphins did with Tagovailoa, made Lawrence go through a “prove it” Year 4 season. But they will act early, having begun extension talks in February. Baalke confirmed ownership and Pederson were involved in the talks, and the parties crossed the finish line during minicamp week.

Lawrence, 24, came into the NFL with a flashy prospect profile; he played out his final season at Clemson as the clear-cut favorite to be chosen first overall in 2021. After the Jets started 0-13 in 2020, it looked like the Dabo Swinney charge would be Big Apple-bound. But two late-season wins from Gang Green gave the Jaguars, who finished 1-15, the right to pick first the following April. While Meyer was calling the shots at that point, Baalke was starting his GM tenure.

That 2021 draft, which came amid the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, featured memorable whiffs in the first round. The other four teams that chose first-round QBs that year — the Jets (Zach Wilson), 49ers (Trey Lance), Bears (Justin Fields) and Patriots (Mac Jones) — traded away those passers. Lawrence has not been a top-tier QB by any means, but he has managed to stick in Jacksonville and show enough to earn this contract. The Jags are certainly betting his best seasons are ahead.

In terms of QBR, Lawrence has finished 28th, 17th and 17th from 2021-23. He memorably threw one touchdown pass from Halloween to New Year’s Day during a miserable 2021 Jags season, and the 2022 team started 3-7. But Lawrence guided the Jags to comeback wins over the Cowboys and Ravens down the stretch, pairing well with a veteran receiving corps. He fired TD passes to all four of his top targets in the comeback win over the Bolts and put a scare into the No. 1-seeded Chiefs in a narrow divisional-round loss.

Last season brought a step back, as Pederson gave play-calling duties to OC Press Taylor. Lawrence finished with 21 touchdown passes and 14 interceptions — after assembling a 25-8 ratio in 2022 — and was present for a collapse in which the Jags sank from 8-3 to 9-8. While Lawrence has displayed plus durability as a pro, he missed his first game last season. Lawrence sustained knee and ankle sprains, playing through both, before suffering an AC joint injury and a concussion late in the season. His injuries undoubtedly affected the Jags, though the team gutted its defensive staff as a result of the downturn.

This offseason, the Jags also revamped Lawrence’s pass-catching corps. They signed Bills deep threat Gabe Davis and attempted to keep Calvin Ridley. It would have been more difficult for the Jags to re-sign Ridley, given where his market went, and then pay Lawrence. The team still carries Christian Kirk‘s $18MM-per-year deal. Ridley joined the Titans on a four-year, $92MM pact, and the Jags opted for more help in the draft by using their first-round pick on LSU’s Brian Thomas Jr. — last season’s Division I-FBS receiving TDs leader (17). Thomas’ rookie contract will pair well with Lawrence’s extension, as the Jags also have Evan Engram signed to a top-10 tight end contract.

The Jags will face some pressure to make this contract pay off. While Lawrence has been by far the best QB from the 2021 class, he has not submitted a top-shelf season like the rest of the members in the NFL’s $50MM-AAV club. Pederson, Taylor and Co. will need to see that he does to make this contract worthwhile.

Trevor Lawrence Aiming For Jaguars Extension Before Training Camp

A number of quarterbacks have landed extensions during their first year of eligibility. Trevor Lawrence is aiming to join that group by hammering out a deal with the Jaguars this offseason, and progress is believed to have been made on that front recently.

The former No. 1 pick has had an up-and-down tenure to date in the NFL. Lawrence nevertheless represents a young signal-caller in line to approach the top of the position’s market on his next pact. Joe Burrow currently leads the way with an annual average value of $55MM, and Jared Goff‘s recent extension ranks second at $53MM. A Lawrence accord could fall between the two in terms of value while consisting of a similar structure to the Goff pact.

The 24-year-old is under contract through 2025 given the Jaguars’ decision to pick up his fifth-year option. That gives team and player plenty of time to reach an agreement, but Lawrence’s preference would be to have a deal worked out before training camp next month. Jacksonville is moving with urgency on the negotiation front, so that goal may be attainable.

“That would be ideal just to put it behind us and keep moving and feel good about that going into training camp,” Lawrence said of an extension (via Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk). “But either way, like I said before, I have the same job.”

Lawrence has been in attendance for the Jaguars’ OTAs, and that will no doubt continue through mandatory minicamp. His camp along with Jacksonville’s front office will have time after that to continue negotiations, especially with the team’s other top financial priority (an extension for edge rusher Josh Allen) out of the way. Other extensions for the likes of Dak Prescott and Tua Tagovailoa could take place along a similar timeline to the Lawrence one, and it will be interesting to see the effects each deal has on the other.

AFC South Rumors: Lawrence, Pierce, Skowronek

Many are under the impression that Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence could be the next NFL passer to sign a big extension. Jacksonville is on board with that opinion as talks with Lawrence continue to progress. ESPN’s Michael DiRocco believes that, when a Lawrence extension does occur, it will look a lot like that of recently extended Lions quarterback Jared Goff in many regards.

This prediction comes from talks with NFL front office executives from outside of Jacksonville, who expect Lawrence’s average annual salary to just outpace Goff’s figure of $53MM per year. They also expect the deal to resemble the structure of Goff’s deal, which spans four years and included a $73MM signing bonus, spreading that amount over five years. Like most long-term contracts, the deal also guarantees two lower-paid salaries at the start of the deal while incentivizing future talks as salaries skyrocket in Year 3 of the contract.

Essentially, this executive is under the impression that, as of right now, Lawrence has done enough to help push the ever-growing value of quarterback contracts but has not done enough to eclipse Bengals passer Joe Burrow‘s league-high AAV of $55MM per year.

Here are a few other rumors from around the AFC South:

  • Texans running back Dameon Pierce put up an impressive rookie season as a fourth-round pick out of Florida in 2022 but saw an unprecedented drop off during a sophomore slump last season. After nearly breaking the 1,000-yard rushing mark in his first season, Pierce watched his starting job get stolen by veteran free agent Devin Singletary midway through his second season. Now, in Year 3, Pierce will have to compete with another veteran free agent addition in Joe Mixon, who is widely expected to start for Houston in 2024. Head coach DeMeco Ryans claims that, despite Pierce’s nearly cemented status as RB2, we can expect to see a fairly healthy dose of the third-year rusher as part of a one-two punch with Mixon next season, per Michael Shapiro of Chron.
  • Lastly, the Texans recently traded for Rams wide receiver Ben Skowronek, making yet another trade addition to their receiving corps this offseason. Already rostering, Stefon Diggs, Nico Collins, Tank Dell, Robert Woods, Noah Brown, and John Metchie, adding another receiver hardly seemed like a priority. Well, according to Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2, Skowronek not only adds some much-needed size to the room, but he also emerged as an effective special teams contributor in Los Angeles. Skowronek’s special teams prowess should help him to potentially hold on to a roster spot come September.

Jaguars’ Trevor Lawrence Extension Talks Progressing

2024 marks the first year in which Trevor Lawrence is eligible for an extension. Franchise quarterbacks often ink new deals after their first three years in the league, which puts the 2021 first overall pick on track to secure a monster second contract relatively soon.

Talks on a new deal have been taking place since at least April, and with the Josh Allen extension on the books the Lawrence situation represents Jacksonville’s top remaining financial priority. When he last spoke about the latter, general manager Trent Baalke preached patience based on the size and complexity of modern QB pacts. Things appear to be moving in a positive direction at this point, though.

During a recent SportsCenter appearance, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported negotiations between the Jaguars and Lawrence’s camp are “progressing fairly nicely” (h/t Tyler Conway of Bleacher Report). Plenty of time remains for a deal to be worked out, with the team having made the obvious decision to pick up Lawrence’s 2025 fifth-year option.

That has the 24-year-old in line to earn $22.66MM next season, although a multi-year pact will check in at a much higher rate. Fowler’s report notes a Lawrence extension will likely be valued at or above the $50MM-per-year mark. That comes as little surprise, considering the top of the QB market.

Four ascending passers (Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, Lamar Jackson and Jalen Hurts) each spent time at the top of the pecking order last offseason. Their respective extensions range between $51MM and $55MM per season. Last week, Jared Goff joined that group by inking a Lions deal worth $53MM per season. Especially given the latter’s age (29), Lawrence should be set up to become the next passer clearing the $50MM AAV mark.

His rookie season did not go according to plan under Urban Meyer, but the hiring of Doug Pederson brought about a rebound the following season. The Jaguars went to the divisional round of the postseason in 2022, with Lawrence earning a Pro Bowl nod. Dealing with a number of injuries (and being forced to miss a game for the first time in his career) last season, however, things took a turn for the worse in the Clemson product’s case. He and the team struggled on offense, and a 9-8 finish was insufficient to qualify for the postseason.

With 39 interceptions and 21 lost fumbles in his career, turnovers are a reasonable concern the team will take into consideration regarding a long-term investment in Lawrence. Still, he has surpassed 4,000 passing yards in each of the past two campaigns while throwing 46 touchdown passes in that span. Jacksonville lost Calvin Ridley in free agency, but the team added Gabe Davis before selecting Brian Thomas Jr. in the first round of the draft. Lawrence will likely be counted on to guide the Jags’ new-look offense not only in 2024 and ’25, but for several years beyond that.

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.

2025 NFL Fifth-Year Option Tracker

NFL teams have until May 2 to officially pick up fifth-year options on 2021 first-rounders. The 2020 CBA revamped the option structure and made them fully guaranteed, rather than guaranteed for injury only. Meanwhile, fifth-year option salaries are now determined by a blend of the player’s position, initial draft placement and performance- and usage-based benchmarks:

  • Two-time Pro Bowlers (excluding alternates) will earn the same as their position’s franchise tag
  • One-time Pro Bowlers will earn the equivalent of the transition tag
  • Players who achieve any of the following will receive the average of the third-20th-highest salaries at their position:
    • At least a 75% snap rate in two of their first three seasons
    • A 75% snap average across all three seasons
    • At least 50% in each of first three seasons
  • Players who do not hit any of those benchmarks will receive the average of the third-25th top salaries at their position

With the deadline looming, we will use the space below to track all the option decisions from around the league:

  1. QB Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars ($25.66MM): Exercised
  2. QB Zach Wilson, Broncos* ($22.41MM): Declined
  3. QB Trey Lance, Cowboys** ($22.41MM): Declined
  4. TE Kyle Pitts, Falcons ($10.88MM): Exercised
  5. WR Ja’Marr Chase, Bengals ($21.82MM): Exercised
  6. WR Jaylen Waddle, Dolphins ($15.59MM): Exercised
  7. T Penei Sewell, Lions ($19MM): Extended through 2029
  8. CB Jaycee Horn, Panthers ($12.47MM): Exercised
  9. CB Patrick Surtain, Broncos ($19.82MM): Exercised
  10. WR DeVonta Smith, Eagles ($15.59MM): Extended through 2028
  11. QB Justin Fields, Steelers*** ($25.66MM): Declined
  12. DE Micah Parsons, Cowboys ($21.32MM): Exercised
  13. T Rashawn Slater, Chargers ($19MM): Exercised
  14. OL Alijah Vera-Tucker, Jets ($13.31MM): Exercised
  15. QB Mac Jones, Jaguars**** ($25.66MM): Declined
  16. LB Zaven Collins, Cardinals ($13.25MM): Declined
  17. T Alex Leatherwood, Raiders: N/A
  18. LB Jaelan Phillips, Dolphins ($13.3MM): Exercised
  19. LB Jamin Davis, Commanders ($14.48MM): Declined
  20. WR Kadarius Toney, Chiefs***** ($14.35MM): Declined
  21. DE Kwity Paye, Colts ($13.4MM): Exercised
  22. CB Caleb Farley, Titans ($12.47MM): Declined
  23. T Christian Darrisaw, Vikings ($16MM): Exercised
  24. RB Najee Harris, Steelers ($6.79MM): Declined
  25. RB Travis Etienne, Jaguars ($6.14MM): Exercised
  26. CB Greg Newsome, Browns ($13.38MM): To be exercised
  27. WR Rashod Bateman, Ravens ($14.35MM): N/A; extended through 2026
  28. DE Payton Turner, Saints ($13.39MM): Declined
  29. CB Eric Stokes, Packers ($12.47MM): Declined
  30. DE Greg Rousseau, Bills ($13.39MM): Exercised
  31. LB Odafe Oweh, Ravens ($13.25MM): Exercised
  32. LB Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, Buccaneers ($13.25MM): Declined

* = Jets traded Wilson on April 22, 2024
** = 49ers traded Lance on August 25, 2023
*** = Bears traded Fields on March 16, 2024
**** = Patriots traded Jones on March 10, 2024
***** = Giants traded Toney on October 27, 2022

Jaguars GM Trent Baalke Addresses Trevor Lawrence Extension Talks

Earlier this week, it was learned extension talks are ongoing between the Jaguars and quarterback Trevor Lawrence. The parties have plenty of time to work out a deal with the fifth-year option in place a means to keep Lawrence in place through 2025.

That option will check in at a price of $25.66MM, a figure far below the going rate for franchise quarterbacks. The former first overall pick has not lived up to expectations to date, but he is squarely in Jacksonville’s long-term plans. Young passers are often extended after three years in the league – the first point of eligibility for a second contract – and it would come as no surprise if a Lawrence deal were to be worked out in 2024.

Talks on that front will be lengthy, however, something general manager Trent Baalke confirmed when speaking on the subject. A monster deal was recently hammered out with Pro Bowl edge rusher Josh Allen, removing one major task from the Jaguars’ to-do list. A Lawrence agreement will be much more expensive, though, and Baalke acknowledged patience will be required while adding he aims to find a resolution relatively soon.

“We’ve had some great talks and great conversations,” Baalke said (via “We’re working, but you can’t force this stuff. I said the same thing with Josh’s situation, I said it would take some time and it did. 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. We’re working at it, we’ll continue to work at it. 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.”

Pederson’s arrival in 2022 led to expectations Lawrence would be able to rebound from a forgettable rookie campaign under Urban Meyer. That season, Jacksonville managed to reach the divisional round of the postseason amidst a strong showing on offense. A regression this past campaign – one in which Lawrence battle multiple injuries – left the team out of the postseason, however. The 24-year-old could thus be hard-pressed to command a deal similar in value to those signed by the likes of Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, Lamar Jackson and Jalen Hurts last offseason.

Those four pacts brought the top of the QB market past $50MM per year, and healthy salary cap increases will no doubt keep moving the position’s financial landscape further. Lawrence is among the signal-callers set to benefit from that trend as early as this offseason, and it will be interesting to see how much traction is gained on contract talks over the coming weeks.

Extension Talks Underway Between Jaguars, QB Trevor Lawrence

We mentioned back in February that extension talks between the Jaguars and former No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence were expected to begin. Yesterday, thanks to Grant Gordon of, we learned that those conversations have been taking place lately, according to Lawrence.

Lawrence’s road to NFL stardom got off to a rough start after he led the league in interceptions as a rookie. He rebounded in his sophomore campaign, leading the Jaguars to the playoffs and captaining an incredible comeback win over the Chargers in the Wild Card round. 2023 saw a bit of a fall back down to reality, but Lawrence is unconcerned about last season or what it could mean for his new potential contract. According to Lawrence, the extension is not at the forefront of his mind.

“There’s definitely been some conversations as far as where that’s at now,” Lawrence told the media earlier this week. “It’s not really my focus. I’d love to obviously be a Jag for as long as possible…But…going into my fourth year, it’s not like this is necessarily going to be my last season.”

Lawrence is referring to the fifth-year option included in the rookie contracts of all first-round picks. Jacksonville has yet to make a determination, something it will be required to do this offseason, but it’s a near guarantee that the team will pick up his option, giving them this year and potentially next year, as well, to work out a long-term contract.

Regardless of when it occurs, Lawrence appears focused on the work at hand. “It’s 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 the Super Bowl. Even if I get the contract extension, that’s still my job. Even more so. There’s even more expectation and pressure on that. For me, I have the same focus and the same mindset.”

While Lawrence is excited about the potential of earning his first big NFL contract, the 24-year-old is being realistic about what it will take to get the money he desires. “I can’t lie. Obviously, it would be nice to have that done and feel good about it, but no, it’s not really the focus right now,” he said. “I know where we’re at, I know where we’re heading, and I know what I have to do. I know there’s some improvements that I have to make going forward.”

Revisiting 2021 First-Round QB Picks

With the 2024 draft approaching, this year’s crop of quarterbacks will increasingly become the center of attention around the NFL. Acquiring rookie passers is viewed as the surest route to long-term success, and the urgency teams feel to generate quick rebuilds fuels aggressive moves aimed at acquiring signal-callers deemed to have high upside.

Each class is different, though, and past drafts can offer a cautionary tale about the downfalls of being overly optimistic regarding a young quarterback. In the case of the 2021 draft, five signal-callers were selected on Day 1, and to varying extents things have not gone according to plan in each case. Three quarterbacks (quite possibly four, depending on how the immediate future plays out) have been traded, while the other has not lived up to expectations.

Here is a breakdown of all five QBs taken in the first round three years ago:

Trevor Lawrence (No. 1 overall, Jaguars)

Lawrence entered the league with enormous expectations after his high school and college success, having been touted as a generational prospect. The Clemson product (like the rest of the Jaguars) endured a forgettable season under head coach Urban Meyer as a rookie, however. The latter’s firing paved the way for the arrival of Doug Pederson, known to be a QB-friendly coach. Lawrence improved in 2022, earning a Pro Bowl nod and helping guide the team to the divisional round of the postseason.

This past campaign saw the 24-year-old battle multiple nagging injuries, and he was forced to miss a game for the first time in his career. Jacksonville failed to find a rhythm on offense throughout the year, and a late-season slump left the team out of the playoffs altogether after a division title seemed to be in hand. In two seasons under Pederson, Lawrence has totaled 46 touchdown passes and 22 interceptions – figures which fall short of what the pair were thought to be capable of while working together. Nonetheless, no changes under center will be forthcoming.

Following in line with his previous stance on the matter, general manager Trent Baalke confirmed last month extension talks with Lawrence have begun. The former college national champion will be on his rookie contract through 2025 once the Jaguars exercise his fifth-year option, but megadeals finalized in a QB’s first year of extension eligibility have become commonplace around the NFL. Lawrence profiles as Jacksonville’s answer under center for years to come, something of particular significance given the team’s past struggles to find a long-term producer at the position.

Four young passers inked second contracts averaging between $51MM and $55MM per year last offseason. Lawrence is positioned to be the next in line for a similar deal, though his generally pedestrian stats could hinder his leverage to a degree. At a minimum, he will see an AAV much higher than that of his 2025 option ($25.66MM) once his next contract is in place.

Zach Wilson (No. 2, Jets)

The Jets’ decision to take Sam Darnold third overall in 2018 did not prove fruitful, and in short order the team was in need of another young passer. Wilson was immediately installed as the team’s starter, but in both his rookie campaign and his follow-up season he struggled in a number of categories. A lack of improvement regarding accuracy and interception rates made it clear a more proven commodity would be required for a team internally viewed as being a quarterback away from contention.

That drove the decision to trade for Aaron Rodgers last offseason, a move aimed at relying on the future Hall of Famer in the short term while allowing Wilson to develop as a backup. Four snaps into the season, though, Rodgers’ Achilles tear upended that plan and thrust Wilson back into a starting role. Playing behind a struggling (and injury-marred) offensive line, the BYU alum guided an offense which finished 29th in scoring and 31st in yardage. In the wake of the poor showing, owner Woody Johnson publicly disparaged Wilson in vowing to upgrade the QB2 spot.

With Tyrod Taylor now in place (and Rodgers aiming to continue playing into his 40s), Wilson’s New York days are believed to be numbered. The Jets have given him permission to seek a trade, which comes as little surprise given the team’s decision to bench him on a few occasions over the past two seasons. A fresh start for both parties could be beneficial, although value on a deal will come well short of the capital used to draft him. Offers for the 24-year-old have nevertheless been received, so a deal could be struck in relatively short order.

Once that takes place, New York will have once again cut bait with a failed QB project. Wilson could follow Darnold’s path in taking on a backup gig before receiving another starting opportunity with a new team. For the time being, though, he will aim to find the ideal supporting role in an attempt to rebuild his value.

Trey Lance (No. 3, 49ers)

Aggressively pursuing a Jimmy Garoppolo upgrade, San Francisco moved up the board at a substantial cost. The 49ers sent the Dolphins a package including three first-round picks and a third-rounder, banking on Lance’s athletic upside. After a year sitting behind Garoppolo, the North Dakota State product was positioned to take over in 2022.

However, a Week 2 ankle fracture cut Lance’s season was cut short; this proved to mark an end to his San Francisco tenure. In all, Lance made just four regular-season starts with the 49ers, as the 2022 season unintentionally resulted in Brock Purdy taking over the starter’s role. The emergence of the former Mr. Irrelevant paved the way for Lance to be traded, but his injury history and inconsistent play when on the field limited his trade market. The Cowboys won a brief bidding war, acquiring Lance for a fourth-round pick.

Lance did not see the field in his first season as a Cowboy, but Dallas will keep him in the fold for the 2024 campaign. He will thus be in line to serve as Dak Prescott’s backup for a year; the latter is not under contract for 2025, but he remains firmly in the team’s plans. Unless Prescott were to depart in free agency next offseason, a path to a No. 1 role does not currently exist for Lance.

The 23-year-old could nevertheless still be viewed as a worthwhile developmental prospect given his age and athletic traits. The Lance acquisition has clearly proven to be a mistake on the 49ers’ part, though, especially given the success the team has had without him. What-ifs will remain a part of this 49ers chapter’s legacy (particularly if the current core cannot get over the Super Bowl hump) considering the substantial price paid to move up the board and the draft picks not available in subsequent years as a result.

Justin Fields (No. 11, Bears)

Like San Francisco, Chicago did not wait on the chance of having a top QB prospect fall down the draft board. The Bears moved two first-round picks, along fourth- and fifth-rounders, to move ahead of the Patriots and add a presumed long-term answer under center. Fields saw playing time early enough (10 starts as a rookie), but his performance that year left plenty of room for improvement.

A head coaching change from Matt Nagy to Matt Eberflus also brought about the arrival of a new offensive coordinator (Luke Getsy). Fields did not make the expected jump as a passer in the new system, averaging less than 150 yards per game through the air and taking 55 sacks. He became only the third quarterback to record over 1,000 yards on the ground in a season, though, showcasing his rushing ability. The Ohio State product made only incremental progress in 2023, despite an improved offensive line and the trade acquisition of wideout D.J. Moore.

As a result, speculation steadily intensified that general manager Ryan Poles – who was not a member of the regime which drafted Fields – would move on from the 25-year-old. Fields received endorsements from Eberflus, Poles and others in the building, but the team decided to move on and pave the way for (in all likelihood) Caleb Williams being drafted first overall. A conditional sixth-round pick sent Fields to the Steelers, his preferred destination.

In Pittsburgh, Fields is slated to begin as the backup Russell Wilson. Both passers face uncertain futures beyond 2024, especially with the former not on track to have his fifth-year option exercised. Fields could play his way into the starter’s role in relatively short order given the 10-year age gap between he and Wilson, who flamed out in Denver. That, in turn, could see his market value jump higher than that of the other non-Lawrence members of this class given their respective situations.

Mac Jones (No. 15, Patriots)

Drafted to become the Tom Brady successor of both the short- and long-term future, Jones was immediately installed as New England’s starter. Coming off a national title with Alabama, he appeared to set the stage for a long Patriots tenure by earning a Pro Bowl nod and finishing second in Offensive Rookie of the Year voting. Nothing went according to plan for team or player beyond that point, however.

Jones saw Josh McDaniels depart in the 2022 offseason, leaving head coach Bill Belichick to hand the offensive reins over to Matt Patricia and Joe Judge. That move resulted in widespread struggles on offense, and Jones regressed. Following a 2021 playoff berth, the inability to venture back to the postseason the following year led to increased speculation about the team’s future under center. That became particularly true amid reports of tension between Jones and Belichick.

With both coach and quarterback under pressure to rebound, optimism emerged when the Patriots hired Bill O’Brien as OC. That move did not produce the desired results, though, and by the end of the year Jones was benched in favor of Bailey Zappe. With a Belichick-less regime set to start over at the quarterback spot, the former was dealt to the Jaguars for a sixth-round pick.

Jones has publicly stated the deal (which sent him to his hometown team) was a mutual parting of ways. A backup gig behind Lawrence could allow the pocket passer to regain some of his confidence generated by his rookie success, but his showings over the past two seasons will no doubt give teams considerable pause with respect to viewing him as a starter down the road. Jones’ athletic profile is also a less favorable one than that of Wilson, Lance and especially Fields, something which could further consign him to QB2 duties for the foreseeable future.

Four quarterbacks are considered locks to hear their names called on Day 1 of the 2024 draft, one in which each of the top three picks may very well once again be used on signal-callers. Other QB prospects are also in contention for Round 1 consideration, meaning they and their new teams will be subject to considerable scrutiny. To put it lightly, all parties involved will hope the top of this year’s class pans out better than that of its 2021 counterpart.

Jags, Trevor Lawrence Begin Extension Talks

Trevor Lawrence‘s ascent encountered some turbulence last season; the Jaguars flopped down the stretch and missed the playoffs. That ending has not changed the organization’s plans with its centerpiece player.

Franchise-caliber quarterbacks often sign extensions before their fourth season. Lawrence is now in that window, becoming extension-eligible in January. Proceeding down that path, GM Trent Baalke confirmed Thursday (via’s Cameron Wolfe) the team has begun Lawrence extension talks.

Baalke said earlier this offseason “no doubt” existed the team would extend Lawrence at some point. It may not be a lock that happens this offseason; exercising Lawrence’s fifth-year option will buy the Jags some time. That said, a host of QBs have inked their first extensions before Year 4.

Since Ryan Tannehill‘s Dolphins re-up in 2015, 11 more QBs — Russell Wilson, Derek Carr, Carson Wentz, Jared Goff, Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, Josh Allen, Kyler Murray, Jalen Hurts, Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow — have signed extensions before their fourth seasons. Not having a deal done in this timeframe has been the exception, with the promise of a monster guarantee — rather than playing a fourth year on a rookie salary — factoring in prominently here.

This would be a new chapter for the Jags, who have seen their two other first-round QBs chosen in the slot-system era (Blaine Gabbert, Blake Bortles) not prove worthy of a big-ticket extension.

Lawrence, 24, is the only member of five-first-rounder 2021 QB contingent who is a lock to be the 2024 starter for the team that drafted him. Trey Lance has been traded, while Zach Wilson has been granted permission to find a trade partner. Justin Fields will probably be on the move soon, and Mac Jones‘ future in New England is murky. That said, Lawrence has not yet distinguished himself as a top-tier passer despite generational prospect status back in ’21.

After a late-season Lawrence surge drove the Jaguars to the 2022 playoffs and a historic wild-card comeback, the Clemson product ranked 17th in QBR last season — a 9-8 Jacksonville showing. Lawrence, whose INT count spiked from eight to 14 from 2022-23, did battle through extensive injury trouble last year. Ankle and knee sprains did not end up sidelining the durable QB last season, but a Week 16 AC joint injury — during a woeful performance in Tampa — shelved him in Week 17. The Titans then upset the Jaguars to end their playoff push in Week 18.

The Dolphins waited a year before talking a Tua Tagovailoa extension; those talks are taking place this offseason. Far more significant injury issues clouded Tagovailoa’s future going into last season, whereas Lawrence has missed just one career game. The former national championship-winning QB did effectively go through a lost rookie season, with the Urban Meyer experiment backfiring spectacularly. That could lead to this Jags regime pressing pause. But with talks already beginning, the prospect of a Lawrence contract topping $50MM per year — a price that obviously will change the Jags’ roster-building blueprint — coming to pass this year is in play.