The New York Jets have traded quarterback Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a package of draft picks. The number 3 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft has not proven to be the quarterback the Jets had hoped for and has hence been traded ahead of the final year of his rookie deal.
The New York Jets will receive:
- 2021 Sixth-round pick (No.226 overall)
- · 2022 Second-round pick
- · 2022 fourth-round pick.
According to Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports, Carolina will exercise the fifth-year option on Darnold’s rookie contract. Darnold’s fifth-year salary would be $18.9 million, per spotrac.
The 23-year-old has spent the first three seasons of his NFL career with the Jets. Sam Darnold showed potential in his first two seasons, but regressed in 2020, ranking bottom or close to bottom in every major statistical category for QBs.
Darnold’s performance in 2020 was one of the reasons why the Jets were trending toward a 0-16 season. But the team managed to score a couple of victories towards the end of the season, much to the ire of New York Jets fans.
Midway through the season, the Jets fans were hoping that the team would finish with the worst record in the league and secure the #1 pick and draft Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence. But those two wins pushed the Jets below the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2021 NFL draft order. The team is still expected to draft a QB with the second pick in the draft.
NFL Trade: Sam Darnold traded to Carolina Panthers
Sam Darnold was the top QB prospect in the 2018 NFL draft. Most NFL scouts expected him to be the the player that turns the Jets' fortunes around.
While Darnold's NFL career hasn't panned out as many expected, there is optimism that it can be salvaged. He doesn’t turn 24 until June and has spent his career saddled with arguably the weakest roster in the NFL.
The Carolina Panthers see Darnold as a distressed asset who could thrive under coach Matt Rhule. QB Teddy Bridgewater underperformed last season with a strong cast of talent around him, and Sam Darnold could be a better long-term option for the team.
For the Panthers, the trade was worth the punt. They did not give up much to acquire the QB and if it doesn't work out, they can trade him at the end of the 2021 season or release him the year after.