I'll be honest, I hate all the talk about Trevor Lawrence. Even if drafting Lawrence #1 is probably the smartest move for the Jets, I found it annoying to have had 95% of the Jets fans openly rooting for the team to go 0-16 before the season was even halfway over.
There are two reasons that I follow NFL football. First, and not surprisingly, I enjoy watching the games. But, aside from that, I really enjoy studying the process of building a winning organization. Hiring good GMs and HCs. Building a talented scouting department. Drafting talented players. Making smart trades and free agent signings. Managing the cap. Exploiting inefficiencies in the player valuation. All of that is really interesting.
It is certainly possible that Joe Douglas will end up building a successful team by burning the organization to the ground and starting over. But I find it offensive and hard to root for.
Look at the most successful organizations in the NFL (both now and in recent years): The Patriots, Steelers, Seahawks, Saints, Packers, and Chiefs. None of them obtained their QB with a top-10 pick. None of them tanked to get high picks. All of them have had success with a QB past the first contract. And all of them have had sustained success, by reacquiring talent on a rolling basis, rather than burning the team to the ground. Tanking is simply not necessary to be good in the NFL. Being smart is much more important.
In the past, I did not believe that NFL teams would willfully tank for a high draft pick. But I believe that the perception (at least among loser organizations, like the Jets) is that a good QB on a rookie contract is such an invaluable commodity that it now makes sense to go 0-16, if necessary, to get a premium QB prospect. Therefore it makes sense to deliberately ship off all talent to acquire more draft picks.
Even if it is possible to succeed by tanking, I find it so aesthetically unappealing that I cannot root for the Jets to do so. The Jets just drafted a fantastic QB prospect three years ago. But instead of doing everything in their power to help Darnold succeed, they want to toss him to the gutter and reach for the next shiny toy? F--- that noise. The Johnsons (and to a lesser extent Joe Douglas) do not deserve to take endless mulligans.
I now believe that the only way to prevent loser organizations from pursuing the tank route is to implement a limited NFL draft lottery where the worst 5 teams (I could even be convinced on as few as 3) would have weighted probabilities to get the first pick.
Imagine how much better this season would be if there was no guarantee that the Jets would get Lawrence by going 0-16. Imagine if trying to fix Sam Darnold wasn't a Plan B, but was still Plan A? Imagine if the full force of Jets fans was still pressuring the Jets to fire Gase, instead of having half of the fans begging the Jets to keep Gase, so the team would continue to lose.
With a limited draft lottery, suddenly the time for the Jets to start to rebuild would not be pushed to the future but would begin right now.