Darnold was kicked out of the franchise last year when the team opted to go in a new direction, and it seems there's still a bit of bad blood between the two of them. At least as it pertains to Darnold's thoughts on the matter.
The 2018 third overall pick believed the organization "made a mistake" by trading him to Carolina, revealing his true opinions on the "Bussin' with the Boys" podcast created by Tennessee Titans offensive tackle Taylor Lewan and free agent linebacker Will Compton.
A year since the Jets traded him, the organization has moved on with 2021 No. 2 pick Zach Wilson while Darnold has found himself in a sticky situation in Carolina.
The Panthers, who have the sixth overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, have so far brought in six rookie quarterbacks for a pre-draft visit, spending time with Pittsburgh's Kenny Pickett, Liberty's Malik Willis, and Mississippi's Matt Corral, among others.
Prior to these visits, Carolina openly pursued former Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, indicating very little commitment to Darnold as the future franchise starter.
Even Darnold can't deny that hurts his ego a little bit, but the former Jets quarterback made it clear he believes in himself and will keep fighting for a starting spot.
"I have enough security in myself where I can say, 'I know I'm a good quarterback. I know I can be a good quarterback in this league. I've proved it.' And I know there's a team, if something happens, that would want me."- Sam Darnold
Former NY Jets quarterback Sam Darnold tries to reclaim what's left of his pride
Darnold can talk all he wants about the Jets' "mistake," but given his 2021 performance, we can definitively say the team made the correct choice. Zach Wilson's consistency as a franchise starter has yet to be seen, but Darnold wasted all his chances long ago.
After three miserable years on the Jets where he threw 45 touchdowns against 39 interceptions and averaged a 59.8 pass completion percentage, Darnold actually regressed on the Panthers this past season.
In 11 starts, Darnold continued to turn over the ball at an alarming rate (nine touchdowns against 13 interceptions) and his pass completion rate remained unchanged. All Darnold has "proved" was his inability to play a clean game and lead either of his two teams to consistent success.
As for New York, it would be an understatement to say the team is enjoying life without Darnold. The Jets turned one of the picks from the Darnold trade into defensive back Jason Pinnock and defensive tackle Jonathan Marshall, both of whom add valuable depth in 2022.
The team also has a second-rounder and fourth-rounder from that trade to use this year — all that from a quarterback whose trade value has "cratered" and who has become one of the most undesirable options in the league — regardless of what Darnold himself says.
Due to his cap hit, Darnold likely won't get traded anytime soon, but if he does start under center in 2022, it'll be because Carolina has no better alternative, not because Darnold has proven he's a "good quarterback."