Trevor Lawrence and NFL Network's James Palmer.

We sometimes see TV reporters, anchors and analysts working sports equipment into their on-air reports a bit, whether that’s with illustrative studio setups, with studio props, or with trying to do sports feats like kicking a field goal. (There haven’t been many reporters actually participating in major league sporting events for a while, but that’s happened too at times.) The latest thing on this front came at the end of NFL Network reporter James Palmer’s interview with recent #1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence in Jacksonville Friday; Palmer asked if Lawrence would throw a pass to him, which would be Lawrence’s first pass as a NFL player. However, Lawrence turned down the idea, as seen at 2:49 in the clip below:

Palmer says “Alright, I’ve got a great opportunity here. They gave me a football, and I want to catch the first pass you ever throw as a NFL player, okay? What do you think? Are you ready?” And Lawrence says “I don’t know, man, I think I’m going to save it for some of my new teammates.” Palmer says “All right. You’ve got to shoot your shot! I tried. And those guys are going to have a good time catching balls from you.”

It probably makes some sense for Lawrence to turn this down. Even if he does this and nothing bad happens, it’s at least slightly awkward. And there’s always the chance of either hurting himself with an odd throw or hurting the reporter trying to catch a pass, or looking foolish if he throws too softly. “Throw me a pass!” isn’t exactly a usual reporter-athlete interaction. (But hey, this isn’t the most awkward interaction with a reporter Lawrence has had.)

With that said, though, this might have been fine if Lawrence had been fine with it, and Palmer was smart to present this as an option rather than a “Do this,” and he takes the rejection well. And also, this may not have been his idea at all; a lot of gimmicky segments don’t originate with the on-air talent that winds up being asked to do them. And also, credit to Palmer for tweeting the entire segment of his interview rather than cutting out the somewhat-embarrassing last 30 seconds. It’s a funny rejection, and it’s one that even led to some mockery from Palmer’s NFLN colleague Ian Rapoport:

[James Palmer on Twitter]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.