There has been no such luck. Although Darnold has impressed at times, even with Adam Gase as his head coach for two years, he’s nonetheless the subject of trade rumors this offseason.
The best thing for both sides might be for the Jets to send Darnold packing. Enter Jets legend Nick Mangold, whose recent comments about Darnold’s future in New York — er, New Jersey — should have the quarterback worried.
Nick Mangold sent Sam Darnold a reality check
The New York Jets ended a disastrous, 2-14 season with Sam Darnold starting at quarterback in Week 17.
Only time will tell if Darnold, the third overall pick in 2018, will start for the Jets in Week 1. The Jets are expected to acquire another quarterback, whether it is trading for Deshaun Watson, drafting one in the first round, or something in between.
Jets general manager Joe Douglas has some interesting decisions to make. A fresh start for everyone, especially Darnold, is a realistic path and one that could work best.
But as Jets legend Nick Mangold recently explained on The Jake Asman Show on SportsMap Radio, Douglas could always choose to retain Darnold.
“[Douglas] knows what he has in Sam, and that’s something that gets me excited is that he knows what he has. [Darnold is] a known commodity. If you had a new GM coming in who wasn’t familiar with him, that I think is a bit more difficult. But Joe’s been there; he’s been seeing him at walk-throughs, at practice, every day. And he knows what he’s got, and I think that makes his decision a little bit easier for him.”
The Jets had not officially made a public decision on Darnold’s future as of publication.
Darnold needs the Jets to trade him
The New York Jets have left an ugly stain on Sam Darnold’s beautiful white suit ahead of his big night.
Rather than try every solution to scrub the blemish out, Darnold might be better off picking another outfit. Darnold needs the Jets to trade him and give him a fresh start elsewhere.
Darnold has 38 starts under his belt, and he’s been average at best as the Jets’ starting quarterback. The excuses of him playing for Adam Gase and throwing behind an inconsistent offensive line only go so far.
Nick Mangold’s comments present a frightening reality for Darnold. The Jets, in theory, could rely too much on those excuses and keep Darnold around for another year.
Darnold will be on his third head coach and third offensive coordinator regardless of where he plays next year. If the Jets can get enough value back for a quarterback who will play all of the 2021 season at age 24, then they need to make that move.
What teams are the best fits for Sam Darnold?
Sam Darnold is either a high-risk, high-reward quarterback target or a medium-risk, massive-reward player, depending on which teams are asked.
ESPN reported that six teams, including the Los Angeles Rams, had shown serious interest in Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford last month. The Rams agreed to trade Jared Goff and multiple draft picks for Stafford.
The Indianapolis Colts were one of the other five teams. Indianapolis addressed its quarterback hole by trading for Eagles veteran Carson Wentz.
Adam Schefter listed the San Francisco 49ers as a team that “made calls” on Stafford. The 49ers make perfect sense for Darnold; head coach Kyle Shanahan has a long track record with quarterbacks, and the 49ers don’t sound committed to Jimmy Garoppolo.
Darnold is originally from California and played college football at Southern Cal.
The Chicago Bears need a new starting quarterback. Darnold could benefit from Matt Nagy’s tutelage in a way that Mitchell Trubisky never did. And, until the Texans decide on Deshaun Watson’s future, one can’t rule out Darnold winding up in Houston.