But could one of those teams be the New England Patriots? It sure seems so.
Jeff Howe of The Athletic recently reported that the Patriots have been calling teams about any and every available quarterback. According to Howe, New England has “had conversations regarding every potential trade target in the league.”
He went on to list a few potential trade candidates including Deshaun Watson, Jimmy Garoppolo, and, yes, Sam Darnold before reiterating that no stone has been left unturned.
“As it was expressed to The Athletic, if a quarterback has been perceived to be available, the Patriots have picked up the phone.”
Given that Howe specifically mentioned Darnold, and that he stated multiple times that every quarterback that is available had been at least considered, it seems safe to say that the Patriots are one of the teams that have called about Darnold.
After all, Darnold is certainly “perceived to be available.” The Patriots have called about Darnold, but just like every other team so far, they’ve been told to check back at a later date.
Would the NY Jets actually trade Sam Darnold to the Patriots?
It seems crazy to believe that the Jets would actually agree to ship Darnold to New England. The longtime rivals don’t exactly have a lengthy history of making trades with one another.
In fact, when the Patriots agreed to send wide receiver Demaryius Thomas to the Jets for a future sixth-round pick in September of 2019, it was the first time that the two teams had made a trade during Bill Belichick’s tenure.
Then just a few months later, the teams made another trade, this time during the 2020 NFL Draft, when the Patriots moved up in the fourth round in a pick swap.
The two organizations went 19 years without making a trade. But in Joe Douglas’ brief tenure with the Jets, it’s already happened twice. The precedent has been set, but trading Darnold is a completely different situation.
This isn’t a trade for an over-the-hill veteran or an exchange of draft picks — it’s a trade for a player who less than a year ago was still unanimously seen as the Jets’ franchise quarterback of the future.
Darnold still has upside, and it’s hard to imagine the Jets feeling comfortable sending him to their most hated rivals risking the chance that he prospers.
The Patriots are calling, but that doesn’t mean the Jets are making a deal with the devil any time soon.
That said, never say never in the unpredictable world of the NFL.