Why teams may be wary trading for Jets QB Sam Darnold

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It feels as if there is growing momentum the New York Jets will use the No. 2 overall pick in the draft to select BYU quarterback Zach Wilson, but there is still the question of what to do with Sam Darnold.

With many quarterback-needy teams already making moves for a quarterback in free agency and via trades, the market is starting to thin out.

WFAN’s Brian Costello wrote in the New York Post Monday that signs point toward the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers being the two suitors that make the most sense, but what is Darnold’s value?

According to ESPN’s Kimberley A. Martin, two NFL general managers categorized Darnold being worth, at most, a third-round pick while a third GM said “maybe” a third or conditional fourth rounder.

One of the GM’s who said a third-round pick also admitted that even a late third rounder would be “a little rich.”

Martin added that her sources tell her Darnold is a tough sell for two reasons: a team needs to believe in his talent and the 23-year-old has been one of the worst quarterback in the league the last three years.

The other reason is his option.

Darnold is entering his fourth season in the league, meaning whoever he plays for in 2021 must decided whether or not to pick up his fifth-year option on his rookie contract.

It is probably unlikely that any team would do so, per Martin, which means if a team were to trade for Darnold he would be tasked with learning a new system, building a rapport with new teammates and work out his bad habits all within one year.

Costello presented two other trade scenarios, however .

He added the Jets could try to trade Darnold to the Bears for Nick Foles, which would give the Jets a veteran backup and Darnold as someone who can compete for the starting quarterback job with Andy Dalton.

Or, the Jets could see if the Steelers are interested in a trade for Darnold to backup Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers could bring Darnold in for a year and evaluate him within their system to see if he could be the heir apparent to Roethlisberger in 2022, similar to what the Saints did with Jameis Winston playing behind Drew Brees.

The only other route the Jets could take is to roll with Darnold to start the season while Wilson gets himself acclimated to the league before finding a point in the season where he can take over.

Of course, by doing this, the Jets would lose out on the chance to get something in return for Darnold so it seems like the least likeliest of scenarios.

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