Why Dan Orlovsky Doesn't Think Jaguars and Trevor Lawrence Should Reach a Deal Now

With Trevor Lawrence's looming extension hanging in the balance, one former quarterback doesn't think either side should be rushing to the negotiation table.
Dec 17, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) runs the ball for a first down against the Baltimore Ravens in the fourth quarter at EverBank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 17, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) runs the ball for a first down against the Baltimore Ravens in the fourth quarter at EverBank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports / Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports
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As the news has come out that the Jacksonville Jaguars are looking to close a long-term extension with Trevor Lawrence, many have voiced their opinions on whether or not the former No.1 overall selection is deserving of such a massive deal.

One such person is ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky. While Orlovsky has been generally complimentary of Lawrence’s play and talent, he believes it’s too soon to sign the team’s franchise signal caller to a deal.

“There’s no way we can sit here and say he deserves elite money right now. I mean he’s an elite talent and you would be paying him because you expect him to become an elite quarterback.” Orlovsky said on ESPN’s NFL Live.

In many ways, Dan Orlovsky is right. Lawrence has had several stints of greatness but has yet to put a full season of elite play together. His back half of 2022 and front half of 2023, pieced together were as good of quarterback play as Jacksonville has ever seen, however, numerous injuries to Lawrence ultimately brought his 2023 season to a disappointing finish. 

Once the top seed of the AFC entering a Monday Night Football showdown against the Bengals, the Jaguars came crashing back down to earth, missing the playoffs entirely. Following Lawrence’s ankle injury, the team went just 1-5 as their lone win came against the 2-15 Carolina Panthers.

That said, the deal would be smart in that they would secure their franchise quarterback to a long-term deal, a contract that likely would save them loads of money in the future as the salary cap continues to rise annually. Pat Mahomes’ historic 10-year, $450 million contract now ranks 9th among quarterbacks in annual pay just three years in.

“If they decided to pay Trevor [Lawrence] today what the Lions have paid Jared Goff, this is a we believe in what you are going to become thing way more than we are paying you for what you’ve done,” added Orlovsky

Orlovsky went on to add that Lawrence himself should wait before signing his extension. Orlovsky has big hopes for the Jaguars passer and believes he could become one of the league’s best this upcoming season. Waiting for that ascent to greatness could raise his asking price even more.

In the last two seasons, Lawrence has tallied 8,129 yards and 46 touchdowns, completing 66% of his passes. The team has a 17-16 record during that time with Lawrence under center, including the epic playoff comeback win against the Chargers in 2022.

While last season’s statistics were a bit of a let down after a strong finish to 2022 for Lawrence, his level of play stayed nearly the same. Through the first 13 weeks of the season, Lawrence was 9th in quarterback EPA and 5th in success rate. Following injury, his NFL passer rating fell nearly 20 points as he threw 7 interceptions in his final four games of play.

When asked about the negotiations, Jaguars’ Doug Pederson had this to say, “I think it's part of the business but obviously the sooner you get it done, it's behind everybody and now we focus on football. So, that's not lingering and that's not out there," Pederson said on Monday. 

"I know Trent [Baalke] and his agent, they've continued to talk and will talk. They're working hard and tirelessly. I've just got to coach Trevor, coach football, and hopefully it gets done and it will."

The Jaguars will be placing a massive bet on Trevor Lawrence. That said, the 24-year-old quarterback has already delivered two of the team’s best seasons of the last two decades. If he can pick up where he left off prior to injury, the Jaguars should be in great shape for years to come.


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Daniel Griffis

DANIEL GRIFFIS