Have the Jaguars surrounded Trevor Lawrence with enough talent for the career year they need from him?

With OTAs over and training camps still weeks away, plenty of questions are circling the NFL. Charles McDonald is tackling them this summer.

Big money comes with big expectations. That’s the world that Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence finds himself in after becoming the highest-paid player in franchise history and one of the highest-paid players in the NFL today.

Jacksonville has a ton of expectations for its franchise quarterback, and rightfully so. Lawrence has all the talent in the world to take the next step toward the elite tier of quarterbacks, and he’s already provided the Jaguars with a level of sustainability they've rarely seen in their brief history. He’s capable of achieving great heights in the league, but it is fair to wonder after a shaky offseason if the Jaguars have set him (and themselves) up for success for the upcoming season.

By now, the story has been told ad nauseam. The Jaguars dragged their feet on the Josh Allen extension, forcing them to use the franchise tag on Allen while star wide receiver Calvin Ridley signed a deal with the division rival Titans. That set off a chain reaction where the Jaguars wound up selecting LSU wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. in the first round to join the newly signed Gabe Davis and an entrenched starter in Christian Kirk. That is not the most exciting group of wide receivers to throw to, unless Thomas takes off and goes nuclear for his rookie campaign. This group will need some time to mesh together considering there’s a rookie and another newcomer, but the Jaguars might not have the time to use 2024 as a test run.

Jacksonville has talent on the offensive line, but they’ll need the interior to play better than it did last season to win what has suddenly become an incredibly tough AFC South division. If the wide receiver room is going to be shaky, they’ll at least need a strong performance from the offensive line, which has a new center in Mitch Morse who came over from Buffalo.

The Jaguars signed Trevor Lawrence to a huge contract, but questions remain about the talent they've put around him. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
The Jaguars signed Trevor Lawrence to a huge contract, but questions remain about the talent they've put around him. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

At some point, general manager Trent Baalke and head coach Doug Pederson need to get some results that solidify the Jaguars as a yearly playoff team. They were certainly on track last season before going on a historic slide in 2023 that saw them miss the playoffs. The Jaguars were 8-3 coming into the final stretch of the season before finishing 9-8. It’s hard to see Baalke and Pederson surviving another disaster like that, barring major injury to Lawrence or core pieces on defense. They’ve already shown they can win a playoff game from behind with their rally over the Chargers a couple seasons ago. They’ve shown they can compete for a top seed for the majority of a season. It’s time to get across the finish line and have something they can really be proud of.

The Jaguars have been wading around in the waters of expectations after a brutal stretch prior to drafting Lawrence in 2021. At some point, this regime needs to build a team that appears capable of sustained success, but as training camp starts and another season arrives, the Jaguars are one of the biggest question marks in the NFL.