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Trevor Lawrence, fresh off $275M extension, says Jaguars are 'headed in right direction'

The Jacksonville Jaguars sent a clear message to the football world when they signed Trevor Lawrence to a five-year, $275 million extension last week.

Lawrence is their guy and will be paid accordingly. It's about more than money, though, for Lawrence: He's elated (and perhaps relieved) to know he'll be a Jaguar for years to come.

"Obviously, financially, it's amazing and really sets us up for the future and for the rest of our lives. That's a huge blessing," Lawrence said during a Thursday news conference. "Obviously, that's a big deal. But I think even more than that is the stability of being here for the long term, however many years it ends up being. I guess it could be seven, could be … However many it ends up being, still that's a long time. To be able to say we're gonna be here and have confidence and know that, that means a lot to us. We love it here. It's become home. …

"The way the organization's going and the direction that we're heading on the football side, that makes it obviously a no-brainer for us. We're headed in the right direction, and I want to be the quarterback here. I want to bring a championship to Jacksonville. That's my goal. I really know that we can accomplish that."

The road Lawrence has traveled to this point has included plenty of twists, turns and undulation. It began with a bumpy rookie season under Urban Meyer, smoothed out with a sophomore campaign spent playing for Doug Pederson. It then became a bit unruly in Year 3, in which Lawrence still managed to break 4,000 passing yards, but also saw his touchdown-to-interception ratio worsen while battling through a knee ailment.

The Jaguars' late-season collapse -- a reversal from their strong finish to 2022, which included a comeback win over the Chargers on Super Wild Card Weekend -- complicated matters, at least when viewing the situation from above. But the Jags' willingness to extend Lawrence now signals they're not too concerned with how their quarterback performed in 2023. Instead, they're trusting their evaluation of Lawrence and ignoring external worries.

New money always brings greater expectations, especially for the most prominent NFL players, and Lawrence is no different. He's not feeling the weight of those expectations, though.

"I'm not gonna add any pressure to myself just based on getting this contract," Lawrence told reporters on Thursday. "It doesn't really change what I expect of myself and what the team expects of me. Whether this got done or not, (Jaguars owner) Mr. (Shad) Khan, (general manager) Trent (Baalke), (coach) Doug (Pederson), everyone, all the coaches expect me to play well and, like I said, to bring a championship here eventually. … Now that it's done, it doesn't really change that, but like I said, maybe from the outside it will a bit, but not for me."

It's likely comforting for Jaguars fans to hear their quarterback claim he doesn't feel any more pressure entering Year 4. There's truth in Lawrence's statement, too, especially considering he no longer has to worry about how his performance will affect his wallet.

Ultimately, though, Lawrence and the Jaguars still need to deliver, especially after they gave away the AFC South last season. Lawrence believes he's done his part financially for both the short and long term, and expressed plenty of confidence regarding Jacksonville's outlook entering 2024.

"There's always a balancing act of however many years you do, sometimes that can put the team in a better position, which is great. That was our goal, which I'm glad I felt we were able to accomplish," Lawrence explained. "Obviously, there was a certain amount as a player you want to make and you want to be in the market value and all those things, but you also want to keep the team in a good position to where we can pay other guys and have other players around me and do all those things from a salary cap perspective.

"I don't know how all that works, but I just felt like my agent and Trent and the whole front office did a good job of kind of maneuvering all those things where it felt like we all won in the end and it put us in a position to where we can still have a lot of talent here and we can bring guys in or we can keep the guys that we have. That was something that was important to me because it wasn't worth it to me to sacrifice being able to have a good team just so I could make some money.

... "I think this is definitely the best team that we've had here in my eyes, just at this point in the year from what I've seen. I feel very confident in that."

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