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The Jacksonville Jaguars secured the top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft over the weekend. That more than likely means Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence will be playing his home games at TIAA Bank Field next season.
And by home games, we might actually mean all of them.
Charles Robinson with Yahoo! Sports made a couple of interesting points on Sunday. First, the contract between the NFL and London expired back in October. In other words, the Jaguars no longer have an obligation to play two “home games” overseas.
The second point is that Lawrence could end up impacting the franchise’s ties to London moving forward. Jacksonville is a small-market team, but the Clemson product is a big-time name with some potential big-time pull.
The financials with the franchise aren’t overly impressive, and it’s something other owners around the league have been pushing to get fixed. Having the Jaguars tied to London has helped remedy that situation, and could continue to if something isn’t done.
That’s where Lawrence comes in. Here is a snippet from Robinson’s article that sums up “Lot J” project quite nicely.
For nearly three years, the Jaguars and owner Shad Khan have been pursuing the development of a mixed-use entertainment park near the stadium. Dubbed the “Lot J” project, Khan hoped to pump hundreds of millions into a complex that would deliver a financial windfall that could make his team more financially competitive in his smaller market.
What has to happen in order for this to become a viable venture? Taxpayers would need to contribute. Significantly. As in, $200 million or more. For a struggling franchise with a dim future, that’s a tough sell. But this same struggling franchise will soon have a generational talent at quarterback, and that’s something worth discussing.
Could the addition of Lawrence be enough to keep the Jaguars from a forced commitment with London? It’s a possibility. Either way, the New York Jets winning back-to-back games has been huge for Jacksonville.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.