As the New York Jets are hours away from officially starting training camp, rookie quarterback Sam Darnold has yet to sign his contract with the franchise. Here’s the latest on his contract situation.
In just a few hours, the New York Jets will officially begin training camp practice with one very important player not yet signed to a contract. At the time of this writing, rookie quarterback Sam Darnold has yet to sign his contract with the Jets as many are worrying what exactly is the holdup.
As always when it comes to rookie NFL contracts, it’s a lot of legal talks involving specific money earned, signing bonuses, and all those special clauses. It’s not easy but that is what an attorney and agents are for in the grand scheme of things.
This all comes down to Darnold’s people hammering out all the little details with the Jets in what should be a monster contract offered by the team to get pen to paper and start training camp with their future franchise quarterback ready to go.
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As confirmed by Rich Cimini on ESPN, here’s the latest on Darnold’s contract situation with the Jets:
Rookie QB Sam Darnold, one of only two draft picks leaguewide without a contract, was not present Thursday night as the Jets kicked off training camp with meetings. This will become a big story if he’s not at practice on Friday. The amount of the four-year deal is pre-set at $30.2 million, but sources say Darnold’s agent is seeking a contact with no offset language. The QBs drafted ahead and immediately after him (Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen) both have offsets, which makes Darnold’s stance puzzling. Cash distribution also could be another stumbling block in the talks. So far it’s no harm, no foul, but he can’t afford to miss practice time if he hopes to compete for the starting job.
Darnold opted to not attend report day on Thursday where players were present at One Jets Drive to simply have meetings welcoming everyone aboard. From positive tones to early expectations, there was no action at all but more of a classroom-like setting for the first day of training camp.
The real competition begins on Friday as both sides are undoubtedly going to be up late trying to get a deal done either in the wee hours of the night or early Friday morning. It would be quite the situation if a deal isn’t made and Darnold holds out on the first day of real practices in training camp.
With a good quarterback situation for once in a very long time, the Jets can’t afford to have Darnold’s contract be a distraction. Ideally, it’s best to get everything signed, sealed, and delivered so the franchise can start training camp the right way with everyone ready to bounce back from two straight losing seasons.
A big reason the Jets ended 2017 with a 5-11 final record was due to inconsistent play from the quarterback position. Once veteran quarterback Josh McCown got hit with a season-ending hand injury, it all came crashing down. Bryce Petty didn’t do much of anything and Christian Hackenberg was so terrible, the Jets didn’t even allow him to play a single snap when they were long out of the playoff race.
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Hopefully, Darnold and the Jets get a new contract done so everyone can move forward and focus on the task at hand. There is a lot of work to do and a lot of expectations for improvement instead of wasting time on issues like this that will get done regardless.