Sam Darnold will play for a new NFL team this fall. It was announced on Monday the former first-round pick has been traded from the New York Jets to the Carolina Panthers. The Jets will receive a 2021 sixth-round pick as well as a second-round and fourth-round pick in 2022 for trading Darnold. Schefter says a deal finally got done after both teams have been talking for weeks.
Darnold was selected by the Jets No. 3 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. In his three seasons with the Jets, the former USC quarterback completed 59.8% of his passes and threw for 8,097 yards, 45 touchdowns and 39 interceptions. Once the trade was finalized, Jets general manager Joe Douglas sent a message to Darnold thanking him for his efforts the last three years.
"I want to publicly acknowledge the commitment, dedication, and professionalism Sam displayed while with the Jets. He is a tough-minded, talented football player whose NFL story has not been written yet," Douglas said. "While all these things are true, this move is in the short- and long-term best interests for both this team and him. We thank Sam for all of his work on behalf of this organization and wish him well as he continues his career." The move comes a little over three weeks before the NFL Draft, and the Jets have the No. 2 overall pick. With Darnold gone, it's very likely the Jets will take BYU quarterback Zach Wilson who has impressed scouts during the offseason.
The Panthers add a veteran quarterback to the roster and still have 2020 starter Teddy Bridgewater. It was reported the Panthers were looking to trade for Deshaun Watson but have not transitioned to Darnold who will likely be the starter for the 2021 season. As for Bridgewater, the Panthers will look to trade him after signing him to a three-year contract last year.
Despite trading for Darnold, it's still possible the Panthers draft a quarterback. In a recent mock draft done by Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports, he has the Panthers drafting Justin Fields, a quarterback out of Ohio State. Wilson wrote: "Owner David Tepper hasn't hidden the fact that he wants to upgrade the position and [Trey] Lance has the most upside of anyone in this class."