When the Jaguars replaced Jason Myers with Josh Lambo on October 17, 2017 after he lost the Los Angeles Chargers kicking gig to Younghoe Koo, little did we know what type of model of consistency we would be getting with the former F.C. Dallas (and almost Everton) soccer goalkeeper.
Neither did the Chargers, obviously. Since moving on from Lambo, the Chargers have had one of the most precarious kicking situations in the NFL, quite literally costing them a few games along the way and a case can be made that they missed the 2017 playoffs because of it. The Jaguars, on the other hand, have trended the opposite direction to the point where many fans have been voting Lambo as the team’s offensive MVP through the first half of the season.
The redemption for Lambo has been sweet. Since joining the squad, Lambo’s red-hot leg has only missed one field goal attempt (31/32) and his 94.4% PAT percentage (34/36) is a full eight percent higher than Jason Myers’. Moreover, Lambo has set franchise records of consecutive field goals made (23) and his 57-yard field goal attempt against the Eagles in Wembley was the third-longest in franchise history.
K @JoshLambo has now made 21 consecutive FGs and set the franchise record for the most consecutive made FGs in @Jaguars history.— Tad Dickman (@TDickman89) October 28, 2018
That 57-yarder was the longest of Lambo's career and the third-longest made FG in franchise history.
Lambo has been a revelation for special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis and Jaguars fans who no longer have to turn their back or cringe during an extra point attempt. The solace of being able to get up and go get a refreshment after a touchdown or during any kick attempt has been comforting, the confidence soothing.
Here’s the thing…
At only 27 years old, Lambo is scheduled to be a free agent next year. With the Jaguars currently projected as only one of two teams (Eagles) to head into the 2019 offseason with a deficit (-12,497,691 per Spotrac), this can be a sticky situation. With as bad as the NFL kicking landscape is right now, the Jaguars should be proactive and not let Lambo explore the open market.
So what would a fair deal be for a kicker as consistent and reliable as Lambo in today’s world of kicking paranoia? The market for a top shelf kicker at this point in time hovers right around $4 million per year. Here are the three most recent extensions giving to upper-echelon kickers in 2018
Chris Boswell (PIT) – 4 years, $16.8 million ($6 million signing bonus/$7.295 million guaranteed)
Graham Gano (CAR) – 4 years, $17 million ($6.15 million signing bonus/$9 million guaranteed)
Ryan Succop (TEN) – 5 years, $20 million ($3.5 million signing bonus/$7.5 million guaranteed)
(Side note: Boswell has struggled mightily in 2018 since signing his extension)
Considering his age, ability, and production since joining the Jaguars, Lambo has a very good case to ask to be the highest-paid kicker in the NFL, and the Jaguars would be wise to oblige. This is what a potential Lambo extension would look like for the Jaguars:
4 years, $18 million ($7 million signing bonus/$10 million guaranteed)
When a player signs a contract, while his signing bonus is immediately remitted into his bank account upon signing, the amount of the bonus is prorated equally across the term value of the contact for cap purposes. As a result, the $7 million signing bonus would be allocated as $1.75 million each year for 2019-2022.
The remaining $11 million can be structured creatively, and since the Jaguars look to be in the hole for 2019, they can apply $5 million salary to the remainder of his 2018 salary (currently at $6,876,984 under the cap, per Spotrac), $850k salary in 2019 ($2.6 million cap hit with signing bonus), $900k in 2020 ($2.65 million cap hit with signing bonus), $1.25 million in 2021 ($3 million cap hit with signing bonus and likely rookie QB contract) and $3 million in 2022 ($4.75 million cap hit with signing bonus).
Currently making a 2018 salary of $705,000 this would be a welcome pay bump for Lambo, who is represented by Wasserman Media Group based out of Los Angeles, California.
So what do you think? Should the Jaguars explore the possibility of extending Lambo before the end of the season to get ahead of the cap in 2019 and beyond? Or should they wait to see how the dust settles this offseason?