Jacksonville Jaguars first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Trevor Lawrence, signed his rookie contract on July 5.
He has been dubbed a generational quarterback before ever playing an NFL game.
Big things coming for Trevor Lawrence 👀👀 pic.twitter.com/B9kErDJcpu
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) July 6, 2021
Time will tell if Lawrence turns out to be that type of player.
The Jaguars are counting on him, and Lawrence is the first of the big three quarterbacks drafted this year to sign his rookie deal.
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) July 5, 2021
Zach Wilson of the New York Jets and Trevor Lance of the San Francisco 49ers have yet to do so with training camp just a little over two weeks away.
Per the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement in accordance with the 2021 salary cap, the contract amounts of the first-round draft picks were set in stone before the players’ names were called in the draft.
With that in mind, here are three highlights from Lawrence’s four-year $36.8 million rookie contract.
More deal details:
🏈Signing bonus paid within 15 business days.
🏈No offset language.
🏈Majority of compensation in 2022, ‘23, ‘24 in Roster Bonus. Earned if on 90-man roster on 3rd day after mandatory camp reporting date.
🏈Earns roster bonus even if on active NFI. https://t.co/EOxzF3RJTN
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 5, 2021
1. Signing Bonus Is Paid Out Quickly
The only wrangling with rookie contracts since the 2011 CBA generally comes down to two things — offset language or timing of bonus payments. #NFL
— John McMullen (@JFMcMullen) June 7, 2021
Before Lawrence reports to Jaguars training camp on July 27, he will have already pocketed the $24.1 million signing bonus.
Without ever playing one snap of professional football in a game situation, he will be a multimillionaire.
2. No Offset Language
The lack of offset language in Lawrence’s contract underscores the Jaguars commitment and belief in Lawrence.
The top draft picks four-year salary is fully guaranteed so Lawrence will get the entire $36.8 million no matter what happens.
If the Jaguars would end up cutting him before the four-year period ends, he could be a free agent that is signed by another team but is still paid his entire salary by the Jaguars.
Though not added to Lawrence’s rookie deal, offset language is sometimes included in contracts to minimize the financial exposure of the team who drafted the player.
Here is an example of how an offset situation would work.
Let’s say Lawrence is cut by the Jags before the four years are up and was still owed $5 million, and he gets signed by another team for $3 million.
In an offset situation, the Jaguars would only need to pay him $2 million and his new team would pay the $3 million.
Without offset language, Lawrence plays for the new team and gets his $5 million paid entirely by the Jaguars.
Since the Jaguars did not include offset language, they believe Lawrence is their franchise quarterback for four or maybe five years (should they choose to exercise his fifth-year option).
3. Roster Bonuses Even If On Active NFI
It is interesting to note that Lawrence can earn a roster bonus even if he is on the active nonfootball injury (NFI) list.
The NFI list is for players who sustain injuries not related to football.
For instance, injuries suffered while skiing, snowboarding, basketball, or other activities done in the offseason are just a few examples of how a player lands on the NFI list.
Players put on the active NFI can return to practice and playing when they are medically cleared.
The Jags paying Lawrence’s bonus if he ends up on the active NFI list could mean one of two possible things.
Either the Jaguars have a lot of faith that Lawrence will not be involved in any irresponsible and potentially harmful offseason activities, or Coach Meyer will let Lawrence know what he can and cannot do in the offseason.
The latter is the more likely and common scenario.
Lawrence did the easy work of signing his contract; now the real work begins as he works to prepare for Week 1 of the Jaguars season when he will be under center as the Jaguars starting quarterback.