Fact or fiction about the AFC South QBs after Trevor Lawrence's new deal

Jacksonville Jaguars v Tennessee Titans
Jacksonville Jaguars v Tennessee Titans / Justin Ford/GettyImages
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Each year the middle of June starts the beginning of the real offseason in the NFL, which means that any news is monumental news.

Trevor Lawrence recently signed a pricey extension, which has the national media looking at the AFC South for the first time in a while, so as a PSA I wanted to clear up some good and bad takes about the signal-callers for the Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Indianapolis Colts, and Tennessee Titans.

To do that, I am going to go over the biggest narratives around C.J. Stroud, Trevor Lawrence, Anthony Richardson, and Will Levis, and I will say whether each narrative is right (fact) or wrong (fiction).

Jumping right in, let's start with the narrative going around right now after Trevor Lawrence got paid.

Fact or fiction: Trevor Lawrence is an elite quarterback

Verdict: Fiction

Being a highly-paid quarterback has less to do with talent and more to do with timing. When you look at Lawrence, there are only two types of people who would call him an elite quarterback, Jaguars fans and people who haven't watched the AFC South since Lawrence has been in the NFL.

For the sake of argument, let's say that an elite QB has to be one of the eight best players at his position (that means he is in the top 25%).

No rational analyst would put Trevor Lawrence in the same universe as Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, Lamar Jackson, or Matthew Stafford, which knocks him out of the top four. Even though C.J. Stroud has only been in the NFL for a season, he has already blown past Lawrence (more on that later), and other young QBs like Justin Herbert and Jalen Hurts have also put him in the rearview mirror.

If you are being kind and looking at the best of Trevor Lawrence, the debate starts around that 8-10 range vs guys like Dak Prescott, Kirk Cousins, Aaron Rodgers, and Jordan Love. But even in that group, he isn't the most proven (Rodgers, Prescott, and Cousins) or the one with the most upside (Love) so it is hard to get that excited about him.

So no, despite the payday and the "generational" label that is slapped on quarterbacks every other year, Lawrence isn't an elite quarterback and there is a very good chance that his ceiling is this 9-12 range considering that the Jaguars spent his cheap seasons losing 60% of their games and now they won't be able to surround him with the same kind of talent from free agency.