The Jaguars have spent much of this off season sailing under the radar. Perhaps the biggest move of the offseason was the promotion of former Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy to become the team’s new head coach. But for the plan to work, Nagy will need to have a talented roster for him to coach. One of the biggest questions about the Jaguars going into the offseason was how they would address the quarterback position. They eventually landed on a former Clemson star and what many believed to be the No. 1-rated draft prospect in the nation in California native Logan Thomas.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have decided to give a contract extension to veteran quarterback Blake Bortles that will pay him $19 million per season. Bortles will make $20 million this year, and is due a $20 million roster bonus in the 2018 season. The Jaguars have also committed to paying Bortles $20 million in 2019 and just $16 million in 2020. As I’ve written about recently, the big money for quarterbacks is just now beginning to roll out, and it’s not a good sign for young quarterbacks when their teams commit to them well into their 30s.Will Trevor Lawrence live up to expectations at the NFL level? Given his skills and attitude, it seems unwise to bet against him. But as with any potential star quarterback, his future largely depends on how his team handles the other players. And given how the Jacksonville Jaguars have evolved since Urban Meyer became head coach in January, it’s safe to say the franchise has already made some questionable decisions.
Unfortunately for Lawrence, the Jaguars jeopardized his future by making a decision that could have costly consequences in the future.
Jacksonville Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence participates in practice during the mandatory mini-camp. | Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Let’s just say Clemson’s move to the NFL could be a surprise for the first pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. This is not to say that Lawrence does not have the physical attributes to play quarterback at a high level. And it has nothing to do with his mental state or his lack of character. It’s more about the fact that he joined one of the most dysfunctional franchises in the league.
The Jaguars made a series of gross personnel mistakes, from selecting outside linebackers like Blaine Gabbert and Blake Bortles in the first round to selecting Leonard Fournette over Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. And while the hiring of Meyer is a step in a new direction, Jacksonville still seems like a team that’s not doing well. From the Chris Doyle fiasco to the Tim Tebow contract, to costly violations related to organized team activities, the Meyer era certainly hasn’t started smoothly.
Looking at the Jaguars’ current roster, it’s easy to see why the team went 1-15 in the 2020 season. A defense that once had elite playmakers like Jalen Ramsey, Kale Campbell, Yannick Ngakokoye and Telvin Smith has proven mediocre. Meanwhile, the defense, which ranks 31st in the NFL in points scored, hasn’t gotten much help from the offense. Although Gardner Minshaw II played quite well given the circumstances, Jacksonville finished 30th in the points standings, four points down from 2019.
So the Jaguars have the opportunity to build a career around Lawrence, but their tendency to make mistakes should raise fears that even one of the most talented quarterbacks of all time will struggle to match his success with the Tigers.
– 10 players rated
– Dak Prescott, Leonard Williams, Justin Simmons and Taylor Moton all get new contracts.
– Marcus Williams, Marcus Maye, Chris Godwin, Allen Robinson and Cam Robinson are playing for the first time in the Mark.
– Brandon Scherff is playing for the second time at the mark.
– Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) 15. July 2021
NFL players who received the franchise tag had until 4 p.m. Thursday, July 15, to sign contract extensions with their teams. While the Carolina Panthers wisely decided to sign Taylor Moton to a four-year, $72 million contract, the Jaguars did not take the same approach with their contracted offensive lineman. Instead, the franchise has jeopardized Lawrence’s long-term prospects by letting the deadline pass without finalizing a long-term deal for Cam Robinson.
The 6-foot-6, 320-pound former Alabama star has started 47 games since the Jaguars drafted him 34th. players selected in the 2017 NFL Draft. Although Robinson suffered a torn ACL in his second season with the team, he missed just two games in 2019-20. The five-year pro is not an elite player, but he has shown he can dominate as a blocker. His pass protection skills still need to be honed, but given his second-round pedigree and physical attributes, Robinson, not yet 25, appears to have untapped potential.
By allowing him to finish the year with a franchise tag, Jacksonville would obviously avoid tying up future financial resources with a guy who has been inconsistent in his first four years in the league. Robinson, however, is charged with protecting Lawrence’s blind side. If the Jaguars give him enough confidence to take over the job in 2021, why shouldn’t he also have confidence in his own ability to develop talent? If the 2022 team has to bring in a new left back, it could lead to defensive and communication problems that negatively affect the success of any quarterback.
Tags 22 for the six who will play in 21 …
Bucs WR Chris Godwin, $19.18M
Jets S Marcus Maye, $13.44M
Bears WR Allen Robinson, $21.60M
Jags OT Cam Robinson, $16.50M
Washington OG Brandon Scherff, $25.97M
Saints S Marcus Williams, $13.44M
– Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) 15. July 2021
Ask Tom Brady how important it is to have a good offensive line. Finally, he would have two more rings at home if the New England Patriots had played better in their two Super Bowl losses against the New York Giants.
Even better: Ask the quarterback who beat Brady in February about the importance of the defense to the success of the passer. Despite his talent, even Patrick Mahomes looked mortal without the benefit of time in the pocket.
Robinson is not a world class player, but going into the season without a definite long-term plan on the left wing is a big risk. And given that they need Lawrence to transform the entire franchise, the Jaguars should do everything they can to make sure he has solid support in the coming years.
If Robinson, who is expected to be highly motivated by a potentially life-changing contract, goes all the way for 2021, he should receive a long-term offer from an NFL team next season. And after years of losing in Jacksonville, it wouldn’t be surprising if a player who won a national championship in college wanted to join a franchise with a winning tradition. A move to another team would put the Jaguars in a precarious position at the most important offensive position after quarterback.
Those who point to Walker Little, the 2021 second-round pick, as a potential replacement for Robinson should remember that a knee injury ended his 2019 season after one game. And Stanford didn’t even play the 2020 season because of the COVID-19 opt-out rule.
Although the Jaguars hope Little can protect Lawrence in the future, it seems risky.
All statistics are from Pro Football Reference. All contract details are provided by Spotrac.
COMPARED TO: From devouring half a dozen double cheeseburgers to squatting 700 pounds, Ravens rookie Ben Cleveland has spent years preparing his body to withstand the pressure of Lamar Jackson’sdefense.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Trevor Lawrence’s endorsement potential even in Jacksonville the future No 1 pick has a big opportunity?
Trevor Lawrence is a big-time quarterback prospect who has the potential to be a franchise player in the NFL. He has the arm strength, accuracy, and mobility to be an elite quarterback in the league. His endorsement potential is high because he has all of these qualities that make him attractive to companies.
How much is Trevor Lawrence’s contract with the Jaguars?
Trevor Lawrence’s contract with the Jaguars is worth $6.5 million over three years.
What did Jacksonville offer Trevor Lawrence?
The Jaguars offered Lawrence a contract worth $30,000 per year.
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