NY Jets trade QB Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers

NY Jets, Sam Darnold (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
NY Jets, Sam Darnold (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

The NY Jets have reportedly agreed to a trade that will send quarterback Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a 2021 sixth-round pick, a 2022 second-round pick, and a 2022 fourth-round pick.

It finally happened.

After weeks and months of rumors and speculation about the future of Darnold, the Jets will be sending Darnold to the NFC, reuniting him with former teammate Robby Anderson, in a deal that makes sense for both sides.

The trade was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter with Schefter indicating that the two teams had been talking for weeks. Carolina’s offer slowly crept up to the Jets’ asking price, and that’s when the deal was finalized.

Carolina and the Jets had been taking for weeks. Panthers compensation kept creeping up and up and up…to where it came in today. https://t.co/wWUPaiqTjF

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 5, 2021

The NY Jets will now move on from Sam Darnold

If it wasn’t already clear, this puts the Jets’ plan for the 2021 NFL Draft in perspective. They will be selecting a quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick.

The third overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Darnold never lived up to expectations in New York. Saddled with an abysmal supporting cast, Darnold slowly made improvements over the course of his first two seasons in the league.

But it all came crashing down in 2020.

Darnold finished with just nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions while completing under 60 percent of his passes. He averaged just 6.1 yards per attempt and was arguably the worst starting quarterback in football.

Given the golden opportunity to select a quarterback with the second overall pick, many assumed the Jets would move on from Darnold this offseason. And that’s exactly what they’ve done.

In all likelihood, this is probably in the best of both parties. The Jets will usher in a new era and hopefully surrounding their rookie quarterback with a more competent supporting cast.

As for Darnold, he’ll be given a chance at a fresh start in Carolina where he could compete with Teddy Bridgewater, another former teammate, for the starting job.

The Sam Darnold era will always be viewed as a missed opportunity for both the Jets and Darnold. A “what could’ve been” scenario that never reached its appropriate climax.

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But none of that matters now. The Jets are moving on just as Darnold is.

This was a long time coming.