Could Clemson's Trevor Lawrence be the next quarterback of the New York Jets?
The last remaining winless team in the NFL is on pace to have the first overall selection of next year's draft. If you ask Jets legend Joe Namath, however, securing the No. 1 pick doesn't necessarily correlate to securing Lawrence.
In an interview with Rich Cimini of ESPN, Namath said he wouldn't be surprised if the presumptive top pick forced a trade out of New York if the Jets drafted him.
"It's happened before, so why would it shock anybody?" Namath said.
Namath brought up what Eli Manning did in 2004. When Manning was selected by the Chargers (fresh off a 4-12 season) with the first pick, he was dealt to the New York Giants for quarterback Phillip Rivers less than an hour later.
From there, as they say, the rest is history.
"Thinking back to the Manning family and Eli Manning and San Diego, there are some people that may not want to go [to a certain team] for whatever reason," Namath told Cimini.
Even if he can envision a scenario where Lawrence tells the Jets he won't don green and white, that doesn't mean Namath thinks New York should pass on the quarterback. Although he likes Sam Darnold's game, and sees room for the 23-year-old to improve, Namath would choose Lawrence even if it meant saying goodbye to the current Jets QB.
"If Trevor Lawrence is available, I think the upside is tremendous there," Namath said. Also, I think the upside with Sam [Darnold] is positive, but you're not going to keep both of them. You're not going to take a quarterback No. 1 without getting a couple of high draft choices ... for Sam. It depends on what the powers that be want to do."
Namath went on to call Lawrence a winner with "terrific" size, athleticism and passing ability.
If New York finishes the season 0-16, barring a trade down in the draft, they're guaranteed to have the No. 1 pick in April. Entering Week 9, three other teams (the Giants, Jaguars and Texans) have one loss on the season and still remain in striking distance should the Jets win a game (or more) this season.
Just this week, Jets general manager Joe Douglas told reporters Darnold is this organization's "quarterback for the future." Only time will tell if Douglas and the Jets stay true to that endorsement, or jump at an opportunity to draft a new signal-caller.
As Namath said, in the end Lawrence might not want to put on a Jets cap on draft night either way...