Appearing on Get Up this morning, former Jets and Dolphins executive Mike Tannenbaum brought up a subject that has been a whisper for months: What if the XFL goes full throttle after Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence?
Lawrence is entering his sophomore season, and is thus ineligible for the 2020 NFL Draft. Tannenbaum and Mike Greenberg made clear several times that this was not something they expect to happen, but is nonetheless a subject of percolating conversations. The idea does present a tremendous opportunity for Vince McMahon and XFL commissioner Oliver Luck to go after him.
We’ve reached out to ESPN for clarification on whether Tannenbaum meant to say that McMahon and Luck have discussed this — which would be entirely logical, but has not been previously reported — or if he’s referring to general chatter in the football industry, and will update if we hear back. [UPDATE: This was a ‘what if’ discussion.]
This is a subject our site brought up in February when our former managing editor Jason Lisk made the point that the first weekend viewership success of the AAF could bode well for future spring leagues if they were really serious about going after college stars.
To make this happen, the XFL would almost certainly have to go above and beyond their forecasted salary measures. Lawrence may not be making any money at Clemson, but he’d have to know he’d be a branding boon for the XFL from a perspective of both branding and legitimacy, and they’d have to offer him millions of dollars for him to even consider it.
While this scenario may be very unlikely to play out, it’s profoundly interesting to think about as we sit here in August.