The fact that the Jets were still able to trade Darnold when their dance partners were limited, speaks volumes to general manager Joe Douglas and the entire organization.
Supply and demand would have suggested that the Jets should have gotten much less than the package the Carolina Panthers presented them, but they somehow received more than expected.
Ever since the Jets secured the second overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Darnold was on the trading block. It became abundantly clear that the Jets were going to use that pick to draft a future franchise quarterback, so it was only a matter of time before Darnold was gone.
When all was set and done, the Jets received a 2021 sixth-round pick, 2022 second-round pick, and 2022 fourth-round pick from the Panthers, in exchange for Darnold.
The NY Jets won big with the Sam Darnold trade
Securing three draft picks for a player they wanted to move is huge value for the Jets. After going 2-14 last season, New York needs as much draft capital as possible to reboot this franchise and get back to the playoffs.
Although it’s risky to hope that a rookie quarterback is going to make this team relevant again, recent history shows us that it can easily rather happen.
Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, and Patrick Mahomes all came into the league and made an impact within their first few years.
The one example of where it didn’t work was with the Jets and Darnold, so the chances this blows up in their face again, is less likely to happen.
More importantly, it should be noted that this Jets organization is not the same group that drafted Darnold.
The management and coaching staff are completely different and although they haven’t proved it yet, they seem to be a much more competent staff with better individuals in each department of the franchise.
If the Jets decided to keep Darnold, it would have been a bad situation. Darnold wasn’t Joe Douglas’ draft pick and it wouldn’t be fair to new head coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur to try and fix Darnold.
With three coaches in four seasons, it would’ve been very difficult for Darnold to learn another offense and be a perfect quarterback next season.
Instead of going into the season with an arrow on his back and huge expectations, the Jets can start fresh with a new rookie quarterback.
Also, that rookie can learn and master the Jets’ offense without worries of a coaching change for the next few years, as there is clearly some stability at the moment.
With three picks inside the top-34 this season and two first-round picks in 2022, the Jets have a great base to rebuild through the NFL Draft.
The organization still has to make the right choices with those picks, but with all of this ammunition, it gives them a much better chance to do so and fix the problem.
Whether Sam Darnold turns into a top-10 quarterback or not, this trade is a huge win for the Jets. Any time you can secure more draft capital, move on from a big unknown at quarterback, and start a rebuild fresh, you have to take full advantage of it.
The Jets got more than they probably should have for Darnold, so let’s hope those future draft picks turn into everyday NFL players and the rebuild is accelerated as a result.