The former GM in Mike Tannenbaum believes Joe Douglas was both happy the Jets finally won their first game last Sunday against the Rams and aware that the victory probably cost him the opportunity to draft blue-chip Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
According to Tannenbaum, the intrigue of the Jets’ final two games — and then the months leading up to the 2021 draft — will be whether they decide to stick with former first-round pick Sam Darnold at the position.
Asked earlier this week on The Post’s “Gang’s All Here” podcast what he would do if the Jets end up with the second pick in the draft, Tannenbaum – who served as the team’s GM for seven seasons from 2006-12 — made it sound as if he’s not convinced Darnold is the long-term answer at quarterback.
“Well, I’m a little disappointed that since Sam Darnold has been in the NFL he’s had 44 turnovers. That’s the sixth-most of any quarterback in that period of time,” Tannenbaum said. “It’s hard to win and have sustainability when your quarterback’s turning it over. I think these next couple of weeks are important [for him].”
The Jets would need to lose out and have Jacksonville win at least one of its remaining two games against playoff-contending Chicago and Indianapolis to regain the No.1 slot. The Jets also clinched no worse than the second pick in the draft when Cincinnati (3-10-1) upset Pittsburgh on Monday night.
BYU’s Zach Wilson and Ohio State’s Justin Fields are expected to be in the next group of quarterbacks after Lawrence.
Tannenbaum, who also was Miami’s Executive VP of Football Operations from 2015-18, also brought up a couple of highly drafted former NFL starters now serving as veteran backups in the league as potential stopgaps if the Jets do add another quarterback in the draft — either second overall or via trading down.
“I wouldn’t discount looking at someone like [Las Vegas’] Marcus Mariota or [New Orleans’] Jameis Winston and then looking at the draft, as well,” Tannenbaum said. “The problem is you’re not going to get nearly the draft capital you would in prior years.
“I think those evaluations will be all over the place, so while you may be able to trade out of the second pick if you want to keep Sam Darnold, you’re not going to get this massive haul of picks.”