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Why did the Jets commerce Sam Darnold? Panthers QB's profession rebirth comes after hectic NY tenure


From Large Apple to rotten apple, Sam Darnold’s New York tenure was an … eventful one.

Chosen with the No, 3 total choose within the 2018 NFL Draft, the Jets and their followers hoped that the USC product was the reply to the generations-long query: Who will succeed Joe Namath as Gang Inexperienced’s subsequent Tremendous Bowl-winning passer?

After simply three seasons, two years with Adam Gase and one bout with mononucleosis (and a hilarious ESPN graphic), Darnold was shipped to the Panthers this offseason, buying and selling his Gotham Inexperienced for Carolina blue, as he tries to reignite the smoldering flames of his once-promising NFL profession.

In easier, much less dramatic phrases: Darnold has been dangerous, and he’ll try to get good with a special crew. Up to now, by way of two video games, Darnold has appeared higher as a Panther, with Carolina’s supporting forged and training employees offering a boon to his profession revitalization.

However the Jets raised some eyebrows this offseason once they traded Darnold to the Panthers. Opting to pick out QB Zach Wilson with the No. 2 total choose within the 2021 NFL Draft, a single query remained: Why?

There is not any one reply.

MORE: Revisiting the 2018 NFL Draft

Why did the Jets commerce Sam Darnold?

There are three most important the reason why the Jets moved on from Sam Darnold after simply three years in Florham Park:


Arguably a very powerful little bit of the equation that resulted in Darnold being shipped to the Panthers: He is not anyone’s man.

Darnold, drafted No. 3 total in 2018, was chosen by then-GM Mike Maccagnan, pairing him with head coach Todd Bowles. Bowles was canned following the 2018 season and was changed by Adam Gase, and Maccagnan was ousted following the 2019 NFL Draft and changed by present GM Joe Douglas.

Douglas and Gase labored alongside one another for the 2019 and 2020 seasons, after which Gase was fired and changed with Douglas’ head coach choose, Robert Saleh. As is the way in which it goes in the NFL: The GM, head coach and quarterback trio normally are available as a bundle deal, that means if one goes, all of them go.

The Jets, who hadn’t been aligned on a head-coach-GM-QB triumvirate for the reason that days of Mike Tannenbaum, Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez, reset all three in (virtually) the identical breath with Douglas, Saleh and Zach Wilson. Makes for a recent begin for everyone concerned: Douglas and Saleh get their man and bought some fairly good draft choose compensation in return for sending off Darnold.


There are two varieties of groups within the NFL: The groups which have a franchise quarterback and those that do not.

Darnold is getting into 12 months 4 of his rookie deal, and whether or not you imagine the potential continues to be there or that he is simply no good, it is a dangerous spot to be positioned in with a brand new head coach taking up.

With very poor manufacturing — extra on that later — and Darnold eligible to barter a contract extension following his third 12 months within the league, the Jets might have put themselves in a troublesome scenario: Ought to Darnold carry out nicely following 12 months 4, do you contemplate paying him and giving him an extension off of 1 12 months of manufacturing? Or is one 12 months of solid-to-good soccer simply not sufficient of a pattern measurement to pay somebody off of?

Slightly than try to reply both query themselves, New York kicked the can to Carolina to allow them to determine it out.

Whereas the Jets might have let Darnold play out his rookie deal and probably use the franchise tag to ultimately leverage and work out a long-term deal, it is uncommon that groups are within the place to draft a franchise quarterback just like the Jets had been in 2021.

Within the final 10 years, just a few groups have repeated top-five picks within the NFL Draft: The Jaguars (who truly had been within the prime 5 from 2012 to 2017), the Browns (2018, 2019), Raiders (2014, 2015), the Jets (2018, 2019) and the Bengals (2020, 2021).

In flip, the Jets reset the QB place with a rookie deal after drafting Zach Wilson, giving themselves cap flexibility at QB shifting ahead and resetting the timeline on the window for rivalry.


Whether or not you level to Adam Gase, his supporting forged, the dangerous offensive line or simply common organizational dysfunction, the actual fact stays that Sam Darnold was one of many league’s worst total passers by way of pure manufacturing in three years in New York.

Over 38 video games, Darnold threw for 8,097 yards, 45 touchdowns and 39 interceptions. Amongst quarterbacks who’ve began at the least 30 video games since 2018 (22 complete), Darnold ranks final in: Interception price (3.2), passer score (78.6), completion share (59.8) and yards per try (6.64). The remainder of Darnold’s stats weren’t significantly encouraging, both: His 45 passing TDs had been second worst, together with yards per recreation (213.1). 

All the pieces in context, after all: The Jets had a fairly dangerous group of talent place gamers, and with Christian McCaffrey, Robby Anderson and DJ Moore, he might have the perfect supporting forged (and most steady teaching scenario) he is had since getting into the league in 2018.

If Darnold can kick the turnover issues, exorcise the ghosts and switch these “flashes” into sustained success, the Panthers might have discovered themselves a steal. Do not financial institution on kicking three years of common to dangerous tape, although.


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