It’s been a tumultuous offseason for former NY Jets‘ quarterback Sam Darnold. But now that he’s finally found a new home, it’s safe to say he’s found peace with his situation.
Following three lackluster seasons in New York, Darnold was shipped to the Carolina Panthers earlier this month in a package that saw the Jets receive three draft picks.
Darnold was never given a fair chance to succeed with the Jets. No matter your opinion on the former USC star, it goes without saying that Darnold was never placed in an environment conducive to growth and development.
Combine that with what has been a whirlwind of an offseason complete with trade rumors and it hasn’t been an easy few years for Darnold.
And in his introductory press conference with the Panthers on Monday, he made note of that.
Sam Darnold was complimentary of the NY Jets
Darnold insisted that it feels good to be wanted again and that it was difficult to move on from the Jets.
“To go from being unwanted to being wanted is huge. Getting that news that you’re going to be traded, of a team saying, ‘Hey, we didn’t want you,’ for whatever reason, is hard. But right now, I feel great about it, and I’m excited to get here, and get started.”
It couldn’t have been easy for Darnold given that he was the subject of constant trade rumors this offseason. But through it all, he’s remained upbeat and positive about the situation and continues to be complimentary of his former organization.
Darnold had some kind words to say about both general manager Joe Douglas and new head coach Robert Saleh. The 23-year-old said that Douglas was “a great guy” and that he believes Saleh will “get the organization right.”
There isn’t a bad bone in Darnold’s body. No matter how much his former team had screwed him over in the past, he wasn’t resentful or disparaging. Instead, he almost sounded grateful.
He just wished things would have worked out differently.
Darnold said the plan was to play 20 years with the Jets and bring the organization multiple Super Bowls. “That was the dream going in there,” Darnold said. “Obviously, it didn’t work out.”
Perhaps in a different universe, Sam Darnold is still the quarterback of the Jets. The team managed to build around their once-franchise QB and he developed into the player they always believed he would become.
But in our reality, Darnold is playing for his second NFL team in just his fourth professional season.
And his time in New York will always be viewed as “what could’ve been” as opposed to “what was.”