3 former NY Jets who won’t live up to their new contracts

These former Jets might not live up to their contracts

Sam Darnold
Sam Darnold / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages
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2. Sam Darnold, QB, Minnesota Vikings

  • 1 year, $10 million ($8.75 million guaranteed)

Of all the quarterback contracts given out this offseason, the one awarded to former Jets quarterback Sam Darnold might be the most confusing.

Darnold spent last season in San Francisco as Brock Purdy's backup, and despite starting just one game, whatever he did in 2023 was enough to convince the Minnesota Vikings to hand him a one-year, $10 million contract in free agency.

The Vikings see Darnold as a potential starting option — a likely bridge quarterback to help develop the rookie QB they're expected to target in the draft. Reports suggest the Vikings see Darnold as someone who could even have a Baker Mayfield-like resurgence in Minnesota.

While it would be a nice story, there's nothing Darnold has done that suggests that will happen. His development was stunted by a terrible situation in New York and his stint with the Carolina Panthers didn't exactly change the narrative.

Nonetheless, the Vikings are hoping that Darnold could, at a bare minimum, be a very expensive mentor or, in a perfect world, put together a Mayfield-like season in 2024.

Darnold received the third-highest contract among all quarterbacks in free agency in terms of AAV and total guarantees behind only Kirk Cousins and Gardner Minshew. His 2024 cap hit will be higher than players like Mayfield, Jacoby Brissett, and Minshew.

The Vikings are hoping that Darnold can finally turn the corner in Minnesota, but it feels like they definitely could've gone in a different direction.