‘He’s Getting Paid Off Promise, Not Production’: Emmanuel Acho Says Trevor Lawrence $275M Extension Is A Reward For Career at Clemson

Emmanuel Ocho is buying Trevor Lawrence’s $275M contract.

The quarterback market in the NFL has ballooned to right around $55 million to $ 60 million per season for a starting signal-caller. Over the couple months we’ve seen the Cincinnati Bengals give Joe Burrow a deal that made him the highest-paid quarterback in the league at $55 million per season.

Not long before that the Detroit Lions paid Jared Goff handsomely at $53 million per season. Prior to last season the Baltimore Ravens signed two-time and reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson to a massive extension that pays him $52 million per season. 

Emmanuel Ocho thinks Trevor Lawrence got his $275M contract based on what he did at Clemson and not in his inconsistent pro career. (Photo: Getty Images)

Trevor Lawrence Latest QB To Get Paid Top Dollar Without Winning Big

Following a runner-up MVP and run to the Super Bowl in 2023, the Philadelphia Eagles blessed Jalen Hurts with a huge extension that pays him $51 million per season. What do all of them have in common? They’ve led their respective teams to either a Super Bowl or conference championship game. 

That’s exactly what the Jacksonville Jaguars are hoping 2021 No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence can do after they made him the highest-paid quarterback in the league with a five-year, $275 million deal with $200 million guaranteed and $142 million guaranteed at signing. His annual salary of $55 million per season tied him with the aforementioned Burrow. 

But did the Jaguars move too fast in signing Lawrence, who’s headed into his fourth NFL season with his fifth-year option still available? 

FS1s Emmanuel Acho Believes Jaguars Were Desperate With $55M Per Trevor Lawrence Deal

Following the announcement of Lawrence’s newfound wealth, Acho a brutally honest analyst on Fox Sports’ “Speak”, questioned why the Jags felt the need to pay Lawrence right now when he has so much more to prove. 

“Trev is not getting paid for what he’s done in the NFL. He’s getting paid for what he did in Clemson,” Acho said. “Because what he did at Clemson allowed us to think his marvelous upside, upside that we have not seen on a consistent basis. We’ve seen it at times. No doubt about it, like Shady McCoy’s talked about it, Dave’s talked about it. We’ve seen flashes but you cannot pay a quarterback $55 million a year because of flashes.”

“You got to pay him for what he does consistently,” Acho added. “If Trevor Lawrence was drafted where Brock Purdy was drafted, he likely would be a backup. But he was drafted No. 1 overall and he was heralded as one of the most talented prospects that we’ve seen since Andrew Luck. As a result, he’s the highest-paid quarterback on an average annual value in the National Football League.”

Trevor Lawrence Was Solid But Not Sensational

Acho is correct, Lawrence’s first three seasons didn’t seem to earn a contract from the Jaguars that makes him the highest-paid QB in the league.

Sporting a record of 20-30 as a starter with just over 11,770 passing yards, 58 touchdowns and 39 interceptions with a completion percentage of 63 percent does not scream “new mega deal.”

Especially with him under team control for the next two seasons, maybe the Jaguars should’ve let this upcoming season play out before signing him to such a massive deal. 

Not All Is On Lawrence, But He Needs To Show Consistency

Lawrence’s rookie season was awful, but most of that was because of former head coach Urban Meyer who was fired 13 games into the season. Year 2 Lawrence showed marked improvement with 25 touchdowns and just eight interceptions in leading the Jaguars to the second-largest comeback playoff win and within one possession of beating the Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round.

Year 3 was supposed to be Lawrence’s true breakout season. With wide receiver Calvin Ridley joining the team, the offense was expected to go to new heights. 

At times they showed flashes, but Lawrence’s play was erratic, and a late-season high ankle sprain ended up costing the Jaguars a playoff spot as they went into a tailspin, going from 8-3 and first in the AFC to 9-8 and missing the playoffs on the final day of the season.

Lawrence finished 2023 with 21 touchdown passes and 14 interceptions. The team finished the season on a five-game losing streak that saw Lawrence toss nine touchdowns but also seven interceptions. Not exactly a recipe for success. 

Jags Trying To Get Ahead Of Steadily Rising QB Market? 

This move seems as if the Jags are doing it so it isn’t more come next or the following season. Which in many ways is understandable from a business standpoint, but Lawrence hasn’t earned this money, and, as Acho said, it’s more about his play at Clemson and hope the Jags have for him going forward. 

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