4. Loser: The NY Jets and their fanbase
In this day and age, the last thing that diehard Jets fans want to read is another negative and biased take against their franchise. There are plenty of lazy narratives, and negative mean-spirited takes against the Jets already in the ether as it is.
Hopefully, over time, the Sam Darnold trade will end up being the best thing that ever happened for the franchise. Still, it’s difficult to label it as such right now because it’s a loss for the Jets and their fans to be in this situation just three years after drafting a quarterback who was supposed to be the savior.
It’s a failure on so many levels.
While there are many Jets’ supporters who are rejoicing over the fact that Darnold has been traded, and there is genuine excitement over the fact that the team is on the verge of taking a shot at another potential savior, there are also many Jets fans that are in mourning over this trade and are upset that the situation regressed to this point.
Two years ago, the Jets revealed their new uniforms. A polarizing issue to this day. One that Jets owner Woody Johnson hears about daily on social media.
On that fateful day, depending on how you look at it, the Jets trotted out their new wave of cornerstone franchise players — Leonard Williams, Jamal Adams, Avery Williamson, Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, and Chris Herndon.
Two years later, only tight end Chris Herndon remains, and based on his recent level of play, it’s as if he no longer exists on the team either.
The last decade of Jets football has been a disgrace. The team went from being a perennial contender, starting in 1997 through 2011, to an irrelevant franchise in the last 10 years.
The Jets have the longest current playoff drought in the NFL. Some of the ridicule and lack of faith in the Jets’ franchise has been earned and warranted. And the narrative won’t change until proven otherwise.
Moving forward, the hope is that the Jets, as an organization, do not fail their next franchise quarterback the way they just did Sam Darnold. There’s no dancing around it or sugar-coating it to make the fanbase feel better.
The fact that the Jets are moving on again at quarterback is a loss. Let’s see if the next steps lead to them finally winning.
Next: 5. Loser: Zach Wilson