Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars Reset Quarterback Market

Just over a week after Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson became the highest-paid non-quarterback in the NFL, Trevor Lawrence of the Jacksonville Jaguars is the new highest-paid quarterback.

On Thursday, he and the Jaguars agreed to a five-year contract extension worth $275 million, with $200 million of that guaranteed. The $55 million per year ties him with Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow for the most money in the NFL. One big difference is that Burrow has taken the Bengals to the Super Bowl and lived up to his No. 1 overall pick hype. So far, with just a single playoff win in three years and a won-loss record of 20-30, Lawrence has yet to live up to his.

Is Lawrence ready to take the next leap and justify such a huge commitment from the Jaguars? Not according to the betting markets.

In betting for next season’s NFL MVP, Lawrence is paying +3000. That’s tied with Indianapolis Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson, who has played just four NFL games. It ranks him behind 12 other quarterbacks, including Tua Tagovailoa, Dak Prescott, Jordan Love, Brock Purdy, and C.J. Stroud. 

We mention those five quarterbacks because they each still have big paydays to sign down the road. Tagovailoa, Prescott, and Love are all in the final years of their contracts, Purdy’s rookie deal runs out in 2025, and C.J. Stroud will follow a year behind him.

The current betting favorite to win the MVP is Patrick Mahomes at +475. The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback received his third Super Bowl ring the same day Lawrence signed the new contract that gives him $10 million more per season than Mahomes.

Stat Leader Betting

One could make the case that Lawrence will be hurt in the MVP race because of team expectations. The Jaguars have an over/under of 8.5 wins in 2024, and they are expected to be nip-and-tuck with the Colts for second place in the AFC South. The Houston Texans are the favorites at +105, with the Jags paying +275 and the Colts at +310.

But when it comes to season stats, the odds boards are also unimpressed by Lawrence.

The leader in regular season passing yards also has Mahomes as the favorite, paying +500. Lawrence, on the other hand, is down the list at +2500. That has him tied for 12th with Purdy, and behind quarterbacks like Matthew Stafford, Jared Goff, Kirk Cousins, and Aaron Rodgers. Both Cousins and Rodgers are coming back from torn Achilles.

The over/under on passing yards for Lawrence is 3,800.5, which would indicate that oddsmakers actually think he and the Jaguars offense this year take a step back. Last year, he eclipsed 4,000 yards passing, and in 2022, he had more than 4,100 yards.

His over/under on passing touchdowns is more in line with his season averages. The line is set at 22.5, and last year, he threw 21 touchdowns. His 21 touchdowns in the 2023 season was tied with Sam Howell, who is no longer a starter, and it was one touchdown ahead of Justin Herbert, who missed four games because of injury.

Lawrence’s new contract is less a reflection on him and more on the realities of the NFL. If you have a good starting quarterback that ranks in the upper half of the league, you hold on to him. When your quarterback is in the bottom half, losses mount and jobs are lost.

Lawrence is in the upper half, so he gets paid. But watch out for the contracts that will be signed by Prescott, Love, and Tagovailoa in the next season. The quarterback market will be reset, and reset again. And again.

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