I had a feeling Sam Darnold would be traded, and now the speculation is over.
Earlier today, the New York Jets traded Darnold (the former #3 overall pick in 2018) to the Carolina Panthers for a sixth-rounder in the 2021 draft later this month and a second-rounder and fourth-rounder in 2022.
First of all, I am shocked that the Jets were able to fetch multiple picks for Darnold, given that everyone and their mamas knew the Jets would be drafting a QB at the #2 spot after the San Francisco 49ers were only able to move up to the #3 spot in the first round. That only diminished Darnold’s trade value.
I am also happy for Darnold.
He is by all accounts a very nice kid who had the misfortune of being drafted by a terrible organization who had a crappy head coach in Adam Gase. Now Darnold will be working with a Panthers team that has more talent at the skill positions and an offensive coordinator in Joe Brady who worked miracles with the likes of Joe Burrow during their LSU days. The fact that he escaped Witch Mountain, aka the Jets, makes him the biggest winner of this trade.
Now the pressure is all on Darnold.
He will likely have to beat out the incumbent starting QB Teddy Bridgewater, although the latter is likely in his last year in Carolina. He has a better coaching staff and will have a whole offseason to learn the offense. The Panthers clearly expect Darnold to be their QB going forward, and he has to deliver.
I think Darnold will make the most out of his second chance. My only question is after the Jets’ debacle, does HE believe he could still succeed in the NFL?