Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Pete Thamel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde discuss Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence’s comments suggesting he may not enter the NFL Draft after this season, and if the New York Jets having the top pick has any affect on his decision.
DAN WETZEL: Trevor Lawrence, who I think every single one of us, by the time he's a sophomore in high school, assumed would be in the 2021 draft, made a comment that suggested that's not a guarantee, even though he is the number one pick. My mindset has been that I'm going to move on, Lawrence said. But who knows? There is a lot of things that could happen.
Now, there are two things that were going on here. One, Trevor Lawrence was just being the normal team first Trevor Lawrence, suggesting he's all in on Clemson, he's not eyeing the future. Or this is Trevor Lawrence staring at the 0 and 7 and likely 0 and 16 New York Jets and saying, hell to the no.
What are-- thoughts? Is there any chance Trevor Lawrence is back in Clemson next year? Pete, let's start with you.
PETE THAMEL: Like, I would give it a 10% chance. Like, Andrew Luck did it 10 years ago and shocked the world at the time, went back to Stanford, enjoyed the bubble. Clemson is a bubble, you know, like, it's a town of, what, 12, 14,000 people. You-- if you don't want the public part of your life, the extreme day in, day out tabloid public part of your life to begin, you can go back. I'm not saying he will.
I'll say this. Lawrence's agent process, as it appears right now, is likely not going to involve one of the agency superpowers, like a CAA, like an Athletes First. He is on course to sign with a smaller shop, all right? And if you are going to leverage the New York Jets for a trade somewhere else, I would think it would help to be aligned with one of those more powerful agencies who can manipulate and motivate and leverage an NFL franchise to do that.
Now, a lot of people look at New York as opportunity. I mean, think about how much more your shampoo commercial is worth that we all joked that Lawrence is going to get in New York compared to Cincinnati. Like, Joe Burrow going to Cincinnati was the worst thing that ever happened to his marketing dollars, right? That's, like, the worst market-- I mean, there's four or five-- like, you can go to Jacksonville, like, that's just a black hole for marketing.
But I don't see Trevor Lawrence going in-- there is nothing about the way his team is forming right now that's showing-- that's showing to me he's going to pull that kind of a coup.
PAT FORDE: Yeah, I think Trevor Lawrence is also a guy who looks at this probably as much as a-- just from a football perspective as a, how much money could I make perspective. Because he's going to make enough money. He's going to be fine no matter where he is. And I think his thought process, he's a very, very competitive dude, extremely competitive.
Don't let the looks deceive you. The guy is a blood and guts competitor, and he wants to go somewhere where he's going to win. And he may well want to say, I don't want to play here. And so let's try an Eli Manning, let's try a John Elway and see if we can leverage ourselves into a better winning situation somewhere else.
DAN WETZEL: If you look at the other teams, I think the Jets have a very hard schedule. So they're likely 0 and-- but the other teams are Cinci, Houston, neither one needs a quarterback there. These are one-win teams right now.
PETE THAMEL: Dan, was your thesis there based around Adam Gase not being an elite NFL coach?
DAN WETZEL: Yeah, I would-- my thesis was on, Adam Gase will not be there.
PAT FORDE: I'm shocked he's still there.
PETE THAMEL: Charles Robinson--
DAN WETZEL: I would do this.
PETE THAMEL: Charles Robinson wrote a great column that they need to keep him there. Because they need to get to Trevor Lawrence, and he's the guy to bring them to 0 and 16.
DAN WETZEL: Keep them--
PETE THAMEL: I was like--
DAN WETZEL: Drive for 0 and 16. Yeah, that would be my only thing. Like, Gase is out or I'm back at Clemson, you know? And look, being the star quarterback at Clemson is a-- gotta be phenomenal, right?
PAT FORDE: Oh, it's not a bad life.
DAN WETZEL: If you want to keep doing college football, because it's awesome, and I don't think Andrew Luck or any of these guys that stayed regret it, then do it. But if it's like, I'm not-- I want to manipulate, eh, it's too hard to manipulate. You just never know.