Darnold is fresh off the worst season of his professional career and there has been plenty of discussion about the possibility that the Jets move on from him this offseason and search for his replacement.
However, many believe that Darnold has “untapped potential” and that the 23-year-old quarterback could still find success in New York. Some believe that’s the mindset many in the Jets’ organization have.
One such person is NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo who said on Saturday that he believes Darnold will be the Jets’ quarterback in 2021. While he said that no decision has been made on the matter, if he had to give a prediction, he would say the Jets stick with Darnold for another year.
“I think Sam Darnold’s got a shot to come back. I really do. And I’ll be honest with you, no decision’s been made because they haven’t started their evaluations on the draft guys. They haven’t started their evaluation on the free agent class. If you made me make a prediction right now, I’d say Darnold’s their guy in 2021.”
Mike Garafolo isn’t the first reporter to insist the NY Jets will keep Sam Darnold
Garafolo is notably one of the most reputable reporters out there so it is interesting to see him make such a prediction. It’s similar to when ESPN’s Adam Schefter said the same thing hours after the Jets hired Robert Saleh.
That said, it’s important to remember one thing. No one knows anything.
No one knows what general manager Joe Douglas and the Jets will end up doing because, most likely, they don’t even know yet. And even if they did, it’s not likely that there would be any leaks given the current regime.
The Jets have the luxury of having myriad options at their disposal this offseason.
If they keep Darnold, they could opt to trade down or select a player to build around Darnold at No. 2. If they move on, they could draft his replacement with the No. 2 overall pick or even explore a trade for someone like Deshaun Watson.
The possibilities are plentiful, and that’s probably the biggest reason that no one knows what the Jets are going to do.
Darnold finished the 2020 season with a career-worst nine touchdowns to 11 interceptions in 12 games. He completed under 60 percent of his passes and averaged an abysmal 6.1 yards per attempt.
By all metrics, he was one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL.
It would be an unprecedented turn of events if Darnold were to find success with the Jets after three years of less-than-stellar play. But anything is possible — even if the NFL hasn’t seen something like it happen before.
The Jets have a few months to make a final decision on Darnold’s future. But add one more highly-regarded NFL reporter to the list of those who believe Darnold remains with the organization into the 2021 season.