Former NFL GM: Jets aren’t tanking for Trevor Lawrence

Randy Mueller believes that the Jets are “trying to win every game” and that tanking does not happen in the NFL

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
November 12, 2020 - 12:07 pm
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At 0-9, the New York Jets are the only winless team in the NFL, which means, as of now, they have the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. 

But let’s clear something up: Just because the Jets are winless doesn’t mean they’re tanking. In fact, former NFL GM Randy Mueller believes tanking is a myth.

“In my opinion, no, it does not happen, and it seems to me like it’s always been a crutch,” Mueller said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “I think it has been used as an excuse sometimes. Maybe it’s the media that’s used it. Fans use it for really some bad decisions that their team has made. I do think a rebuild is as close to you get as tanking, but you don’t even know who you’re tanking for at this stage. The Dolphins were said to be tanking last year for Tua. Tua wasn’t even the first guy picked. They got him with the fifth pick. I guarantee you they weren’t tanking. Just like the Jets aren’t tanking this year.”

Amy Lawrence agrees. It’s simply not realistic to expect NFL players to try to lose. If nothing else, they are playing for jobs and for contracts – and they aren’t going to let a college kid get in the way of that.

Mueller, who was NFL Executive of the Year with the Saints in 2000, had a rough final year in Miami. In 2007, the Dolphins started 0-13 and finished 1-15. They did not win their first game until Week 15.

“It brought tears to everybody’s eyes – from the owners, to the coaches to the players,” Mueller said. “That just tells you how bad these guys are trying to win every game. I feel bad for some of these teams because of that. Yeah, maybe [the Jets] haven’t put together the best roster, but they’re trying to win every game. They are not thinking about tanking, I can promise you that.”

The Dolphins lost six games by a field goal in 2007. Six.

“It’s terrible,” Mueller said. “It’s your heart and soul. You’re not working 8-to-5. These jobs are really 24/7 type jobs. They put everything they have into it. We lost six games by three points or less, and it just wears you out emotionally, physically, in every way. It’s a bad scene. I don’t wish 0-16 on anybody. I know it’s been done a couple of times. I couldn’t imagine the feeling. But these teams, they’re trying as hard as they can to make the right decision, put together the right game plan and execute it. There are just a lot of things that go into it, and the other teams are getting paid, too.”