The NY Jets might keep Sam Darnold this offseason according to Adam Schefter.
The NY Jets have officially hired a new head coach in former San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh. And with that hire, the speculation has shifted to the future of quarterback Sam Darnold.
After the head coach decision, the Jets’ next big decision will come with what they decide to do at the quarterback position. Do they keep Darnold or look to start over in the draft?
Over the coming months, there will be no more exhausting discussion, but one very notable source believes that the hiring of Saleh means that the Jets will ultimately be sticking with Darnold after all.
Soon after the Saleh news broke, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said that he believed this hire indicated that Darnold would return.
“There will be organizational meetings to discuss this, but I would think that Sam Darnold is going to return as the Jets quarterback.”
The logic behind his opinion comes with the man that Saleh will be bringing in as his new offensive coordinator, former 49ers passing game coordinator Mike LaFleur.
The brother of Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur is a Kyle Shanahan disciple who’s expected to run a very similar offensive scheme to that of Shanahan’s in San Francisco.
That means more play-action, an emphasis on getting players in space, and lots and lots of speed. Think of it as an enhanced West Coast offense modernized for today’s NFL.
But what does this have to do with Darnold?
What does the Robert Saleh hire have to do with Sam Darnold and the NY Jets?
The former No. 3 overall pick excelled out of the play-action in college and has been essentially wasted in Adam Gase’s offense over the last two years. In many ways, he’s a perfect fit for the offense that LaFleur will be running.
However, the same could be said for BYU quarterback Zach Wilson who many believe is the second-best QB in this year’s class. Wilson has long been considered a dream match for the 49ers, mostly because of his fit in Shanahan’s offense.
Now, Schefter did say that he believes that both Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas believe in Darnold and want to see him with an improved supporting cast. But it’s important to remember that his fifth-year option lurks making this an expensive financial decision.
It’s also only January. We’re still a few months away from the decision being made and it’s very possible that the Jets brass isn’t even sure what they will do yet.
This is going to be a long, drawn-out process that will likely dominate offseason headlines. But for now, one very notable NFL figure believes the Jets will be keeping Darnold.