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Sam Darnold is now a former Jet.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter announced this afternoon the Jets traded QB Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers. In exchange for Darnold, the Jets received a 2021 sixth-round pick (No. 226) plus second- and fourth-round selections in the 2022 draft.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport announced this afternoon that the Panthers were the only serious suitor for Darnold.
So if there was only one team gung-ho on trading for Darnold, how did Douglas get such a good return, including a highly-valuable second-round pick?
Simple. As we have written here over and over, he was not going to give Darnold away, and was prepared to keep him, unless a team gave him what he wanted. That’s where the leverage was.
This is what we wrote last Friday:
“The Jets are clearly open to listening to offers for Darnold, and possibly trading him, but THEY WILL NOT GIVE HIM AWAY. In other words, trade him for a low draft pick. A second-round pick seems to be the going rate. That is what I heard from a source about what they could get from the Carolina Panthers for Darnold.”
To me, this is a heck of a haul to get back for Darnold. People might not say, “Not really, because he was the third pick overall in the 2018 draft, and they didn’t get a first-round pick for him.” Honestly, where he was picked in 2018 is irrelevant at this point.
The reason this is a nice haul for the quarterback, is he was somewhat up-and-down over his three years with the Jets. As they say in the football world, “The film doesn’t lie.” Other teams saw the same film as the Jets did. Darnold has a lot of natural ability, but needs to improve his mechanics and footwork, along with going through his progressions better. With the Jets he too often had a tendency to fixate on his first read. He needs to see the field better and must improve at manipulating defensive backs with his eyes.
Now it’s up to Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady to fix Darnold. It’s no longer the Jets issue.
Some people might say that this wasn’t the best trade because the better draft picks in the package are in 2022 – second and fourth round selections.
But actually that isn’t a bad thing.
The Jets already have five picks in the first 87 selections in 2021 – two firsts, a second and two thirds.
This might sound strange, but sometimes it can be a problem having TOO many high draft picks. Why?
Because then in a few years many of them will come up for new contracts around the same time, and you won’t be able to pay them all.
In a salary cap league like the NFL, it’s sometimes best to spread out when key players are up for new contracts.
So with so many high picks already in 2021, it might be best for the Jets for the higher picks in this trade to be in 2022.
Once again, with the Darnold trade, just like the Jamal Adams trade, Douglas showed he’s a good poker player, and is willing to wait to get what he wants in trade, and not get low-balled by rushing into a bad deal.
We will have more on this trade in the coming days.
April 5, 2021
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