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Stephen A. Smith Says Trevor Lawrence Should Tell Jets 'Hell No'

ESPN personality Stephen A Smith says Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence should take the same route Eli Manning took and refuse to play for the New York Jets, if indeed they end up with top pick in next April's NFL Draft.

Trevor Lawrence has never been one much for looking too far ahead into the future.

However, on Tuesday the junior quarterback for Clemson was asked about his future beyond this season and Lawrence said he couldn't totally rule out the possibility of returning to Clemson. This coming about six weeks after saying he was planning on this being his final season of college football.

Lawrence was long ago anointed the top overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and is on pace to graduate in December. With it starting to look like the New York Jets will have that first pick in April, Lawrence has started to get a ton of unsolicited career advice from national media about what he should or should not do after the season. 

One of those media personalities is ESPN's Stephen A. Smith. On a recent episode of First Take, Smith said Lawrence should take the same route Eli Manning did after wrapping up his college career as a quarterback at Ole Miss.

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"This is Trevor Lawrence OK," Smith said. "And that dude, playing for my brother Dabo Swinney, he's supposed to want to come to the New York Jets? Hell no. Be just like Eli Manning. You sit up there and say, 'Hell no, I'm not coming to the New York Jets, and if that is the specter of my future, I would rather stay right here in college and wait another year and risk the potential of injury before I go play for that moribund pathetic franchise.'"

The Jets franchise has fallen on hard times in recent years. They haven't won a Super Bowl since 1969 and have had just one winning season since 2010. 

Currently, the Jets are sitting at 0-7 behind an anemic offense that has scored just 85 points all season. Quarterback Sam Darnold, taken third overall in the 2018 draft, seems to have regressed more so than progressed, and Smith says it just isn't the ideal organization for a rookie quarterback of Lawrence's stature to come in and be able to thrive under.

"The New York Jets are an atrocity, they are an abomination right now," Smith said. "They've got the worst offense in football. Worst in points scored, worst in yards accumulated, worst passing attack. You got a 23-year old quarterback completing 58 percent of his passes that is regressing, clearly because of the environment around him. And oh, by the way, your leading rusher who's averaging 3.7  yards a carry.... 37-year old Frank Gore. This is the New York Jets that we're talking about here."