The NY Jets could have up to a dozen potential suitors for quarterback Sam Darnold.
And Darnold’s development — or lack thereof — has been a primary component of that misery.
The Jets entered the 2020 season hoping to see continued growth from their young signal-caller. But placed in an abysmal situation, Darnold has taken a major step back in his third NFL campaign.
The 23-year-old has completed just 58 percent of his passes and thrown for three touchdowns as compared to six interceptions in six starts. His 5.5 yards per attempt is far and away a career-low and injuries have kept him sidelined for nearly half the season.
Combine Darnold’s struggles with the Jets’ ineptitude and it’s easy to see why the idea of moving on from Darnold in the offseason has picked up quite a bit of steam. Especially with the likes of Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields headlining the 2021 NFL Draft.
But given how poorly Darnold has played this season, what could they realistically expect to get for him? And how many teams will actually have interest?
Apparently, quite a few.
The NY Jets will have their options with Sam Darnold
SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano reported on Friday that the Jets would find “plenty of takers” if they decided to trade him. He elaborated by saying that “maybe a dozen” teams could be interested including the Washington Football Team, Chicago Bears, and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Despite Darnold’s struggles, the former No. 3 overall pick is still held in high regard around the league. According to one NFL executive, “nobody thinks he’s a lost cause.”
That’s good news for the Jets no matter how you look at it. If they decide to move on from Darnold in the offseason — the overwhelmingly likely outcome — they should have no shortage of trade options.
And in that case, they should be able to drive up the asking price.
The Josh Rosen trade from a couple of years ago has been used as somewhat of a benchmark for what Darnold could net. The two situations are similar, but they aren’t identical.
Darnold is a little older than Rosen and will have just two years left on his rookie contract — assuming his fifth-year option is picked up. That said, the NFL seems to be higher on Darnold than they were Rosen and still believe he could be a franchise quarterback.
Perhaps that means Darnold could net the Jets a second-round pick and then some. And maybe, just maybe, if he shows out over these final six weeks, he could be traded for a late first-round pick.
Anything is possible.
Either way, the Jets will have options. Options regarding what to do with Darnold, and options regarding where to trade him if that’s the route they take.
And in the NFL, it’s never a bad thing to have options.