If it comes down to the New York Jets or Jacksonville Jaguars, Trevor Lawrence’s preference may come down to the tale of the tape.
If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. It took a Hoboken, NJ native to construct the greatest New York City truth of all-time.
Considering the New York Jets‘ actual geographical home location, perhaps a little Hoboken is what’s needed right now. After all, Frank Sinatra’s most familiar lyrical line cannot be disputed—something the New Jersey-dwelling Jets fully realize.
“Why Trevor Lawrence should avoid the Jets” has become a drug over the last month or so. Media junkies have picked up the air horn in order to scream one of several reasons the Clemson star shouldn’t accept the Jets as his professional employer.
For the most part, a similar reason is cited: the Jets just aren’t a well-run organization. It makes one wonder if the junkies are even paying attention to the other teams atop the tank standings.
The Tank for Trevor Lawrence standings after Sunday afternoon's games. #TakeFlight
— Jets X-Factor (@jetsxfactor) November 16, 2020
One such team is the Jacksonville Jaguars, who put up a tremendous fight at Lambeau Field Sunday but ultimately fell in defeat, 24-20. New York remains a game ahead. The Dallas Cowboys, Washington Football Team, Los Angeles Chargers and Houston Texans (a pick that belongs to the rival Miami Dolphins) sit at 2-7, two games clear of the Jets.
If the Jets are unworthy of young Lawrence’s services, which unsavory label should be attributed to the others?
Dallas still has Dak Prescott lingering in the background. He will technically enter free agency this spring, but Jerry Jones has already stated that his devastating ankle injury won’t impact the team’s vision of him as a quarterback.
The Washington Football Team is certainly in-play. Without a so-called “franchise quarterback,” D.C. could be a semi-decent landing spot for a young quarterback. But then again, this franchise hasn’t exactly earned respect over the last two decades (four playoff appearances since 2000).
The Los Angeles Chargers have Justin Herbert, the Miami Dolphins have Tua Tagovailoa, and the Cincinnati Bengals have Joe Burrow. Unless the Giants, Carolina Panthers or Atlanta Falcons lose the remainder of their games, none of the three will land at No. 1.
There aren’t exactly a ton of options at the top of the board for the kid. And considering it isn’t exactly easy to manufacture a power-play that involves a team holding the No. 8, 9 or 10-spot in the draft, the Jets start to look much more appealing.
That leaves the Jets and Jaguars, a tale of the tape young Trevor Lawrence will need to consider at some point—one that favors the Jets.
Founded in 1960, the organization formerly known as the New York Titans doesn’t exactly showcase the richest history. They’ve made the playoffs just 14 times and own a 408-509-8 all-time mark. Of course, the team’s lone championship is arguably the most important in NFL history.
As Sinatra warned us, anything coming from the New York area is just tougher. Life is more difficult for the Jets, courtesy of the loaded media. Any negative is turned into mass hysteria while any positive is celebrated to the umpteenth degree.
New York hasn’t been as bad as the pundits would lead you to believe. The Jets have qualified for the playoffs seven times since Bill Parcells took the reins in 1997. From ’98 to 2010, the Jets played in the tournament seven times in a possible 13 seasons, with just three losing seasons. It’s been a much different story since 2011, but the Jets’ recent history is far superior to the Jags’.
Founded in 1995, the Jags got off to a tremendous start with Tom Coughlin leading the way. They shocked the John Elway-led Denver Broncos in 1996 and made it all the way to the AFC championship game, one of three such appearances in franchise history.
The organization’s 177-231 career mark is nothing to write home about, similar to the team’s seven playoff appearances over the first 26 years (including 2020). Jacksonville’s three playoff appearances since 2000 place them among the league’s worst.
By no means is it a slam-dunk victory, but the Jets’ history edges out Jacksonville’s.
Trevor Lawrence running for New Jersey (and the New York Jets) if Jacksonville is the only other option.
— Robby Sabo (@RobbySabo) November 16, 2020
Florham Park, NJ
No human being will confuse Florham Park, NJ with Miami or Los Angeles. The true four-season area brings the best of all seasons. Lawrence, born in Knoxville, TN, grew up and attended high school in Cartersville, GA. Perhaps he’d much rather make a professional living in the south.
The advantages New York provide are obvious. Despite technology allowing for more equal opportunities in every geographical location nationwide, the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area still allows athletes the greatest off-the-field opportunities.
MetLife Stadium might not be the most aesthetically-pleasing home stadium. There’s no question about the big toaster in that regard. Then again, it’s much newer than the competition and the Jets’ training facilities are as good as it gets in the NFL.
This is the weather Lawrence is accustomed to. Beautiful, sunny and pleasing is what Jacksonville offers by way of atmosphere. TIAA Bank Field is another story. The Jags’ home stadium opened in 1995 and is growing older by the year.
Perhaps the worst part about Jacksonville is the London idea. Jags’ ownership has no problem playing home games in London and has even flirted with the idea of semi-permanent residence overseas.
The hunch is that Lawrence would prefer Jacksonville over New Jersey simply due to his upbringing and collegiate choice. Another factor is New Jersey’s incredibly-inflated taxes, which would hurt Lawrence’s pocket far more than if he operated in Florida.
We’ll go with the N/A. Lawrence would probably prefer Jacksonville as a city but would also probably not love the London idea.
Put up the defenses when Jets ownership is discussed. From Leon Hess to the Johnsons, the Jets haven’t exactly resembled the New England Patriots over the last 30 years or so.
A great positive surfaces when thinking about Joe Douglas. What’s important for a young quarterback when entering the league isn’t necessarily the organization, but rather the people running the organization. Douglas’s eye for talent is becoming more apparent by the week (Mekhi Becton, Denzel Mims, etc.).
Jags owner Shahid Kahn bought the franchise in 2012. Only one playoff appearance has followed. Khan also owns AEW (All-Elite Wrestling), but it’s doubtful that’ll come into play.
General manager David Caldwell took the helm in 2013—the very same time the Jets hired John Idzik. In fact, Caldwell’s name floated around these parts as a Jet possibility back then.
With seven losing seasons of a possible eight (assuming 2020 falls into the losing-season category), Caldwell’s job is in serious jeopardy. If he had overlooked these past eight seasons in New York, he would have been gone after a few years.
This one isn’t close. While Khan certainly has great appeal from an overall standpoint, the Jets’ front office is on the come up (as long as Douglas is truly calling the shots), while Jacksonville will most likely be starting from square one.
To find another team as loaded with draft assets as the Jets is a tough chore. They own five first-round picks over the next three years. They also own three second-rounders and four third-round selections over the same time frame.
The personnel isn’t as bad as many believe, either. Injuries have simply gotten in the way.
Jacksonville also owns appealing future assets. The organization is equipped with two first-round picks and two second-rounders in the 2021 NFL draft. They also have two fourth-rounders. However, in 2022, the Jags possess just one first-rounder, one second-rounder and no third-round picks (unless Yannick Ngakoue is a first-ballot Pro-Bowler this season and the Minnesota Vikings win the Super Bowl). In all likelihood, that pick will be of the fifth-round variety.
The Jags may have the Jets edged in terms of 2021 draft assets, but Douglas has them beat over a three-year future span. Plus, I’m not so sure the personnel is a wash. New York might edge Jacksonville just a bit when looking at the current pieces.
Salary cap space is nearly identical, with the Jets scheduled to have around $83.7 million this spring while the Jags check-in at $86.1. The two teams rank No. 1 and 2 in the NFL, per Spotrac.
Obviously, other teams can still come into play. The year Eli Manning power-played his way to New York saw the Giants hold the No. 4 pick. Dallas is an intriguing concern, as are the Giants themselves.
In the end, it’ll come down to personal preference and whoever gets the call to serve as Lawrence’s agent. The agent’s relationships will go a long way in determining his client’s future—as seen when Tom Condon shook the foundation of the NFL in the Spring of 2004.
A great number of answers still need to be revealed.
One such answer that’s already obvious is this: the New York Jets are the far more desirable destination than the Jacksonville Jaguars. Only one man knows if Trevor Lawrence feels the same way: the kid himself.
Instead of being forced to make it in New York, if the Jets and Jaguars are the only two realistic options, he might just be thrilled to make it in New York.