It actually wouldn’t be bad compensation

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What to make of this.

“One thing that’s gone underplayed with Sam Darnold: I’m told keeping Darnold AND drafting a QB at 2 is not totally off the table,” ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler tweeted. “Jets have truly gone into this offseason with every option in consideration, and there’s still legit sentiment for Darnold’s skill set in the building.”

This is code for “we are willing to trade Darnold, but we aren’t going to give him away.”

Team officials, all over the league. use the national insiders as surrogates to send messages to other teams.

It’s easier to do this then have to call everybody.

Team officials give stuff to national insiders they wouldn’t give to local guys.

I say that with no anger or discontent. It is what it is.

And another reason they give stuff to national guys, is because national guys are generally not critical of them. Insiders generally aren’t in the business of criticizing. You don’t get stuff if you rip the people who are giving it to you.

I’m just explaining how this works. I’m not mad. Not at all. I like the freedom to do my job without having to hold back.

But getting back to Darnold.

A couple of GM’s told ESPN’s Kimberley Martin, a former Jets beat writer, that the best the Jets will be able to do in a Darnold trade is get a third-round pick.

If they can get that, they should jump at it.

Look, all the teams interested in Darnold watched the same game tape as the Jets, from last year, and even before that.

They know Darnold has nice physical gifts with his strong arm and running ability, but they also know he struggles going through his progressions and tends to lock on his first read. They also know he’s given to turnovers.

This isn’t like you are trying to sell a product to suitors that they’ve never seen.

But if you are Denver or Carolina, and you are looking to bring in another QB to compete with your incumbent, Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater, Darnold, on the fourth-year of his rookie deal, makes perfect sense.

As for the Jets, they need to seriously look into a QB upgrade in this draft. Kyle Shanahan, put it perfect on Monday, explaining his trade up to 3 (to likely pick North Dakota State’s Trey Lance).

“There’s a risk any season you go into without a top-five QB,” said Shanahan.

In other words, if you don’t have an elite QB, your chances of competing for a Super Bowl aren’t great.

Just look at the last Super Bowl – Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes, two top-five quarterbacks.

Now it’s important for the NFL to expand the number of elite quarterback beyond five, but Shanahan probably said “top five” because that’s about it right now when it comes to truly elite quarterbacks.

So while Darnold has a lot of talent, if the Jets think Zach Wilson has elite potential, they probably need to pick him at two.

Because if you don’t have a special QB, you are generally spinning your wheels as an NFL organization.

March 30, 2021

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Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeld
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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