49ers, Washington had interest in Sam Darnold?
Sam Darnold Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

49ers, Washington had interest in Sam Darnold before free agency opened?

After the new NFL year opened on March 17 but before the New York Jets sent quarterback Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers for three draft picks, the San Francisco 49ers traded up to the No. 3 spot in the upcoming NFL Draft, presumably to select a new starting signal-caller, and the Washington Football Team signed journeyman veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the 49ers and Washington both contemplated making moves for Darnold ahead of free agency.

Interestingly, the 49ers and Indianapolis Colts were both linked with Darnold in February soon after Super Bowl LV. Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was also reportedly high on the 23-year-old amid speculation that Russell Wilson could force an exit from the Seahawks, but it now appears Wilson will remain Seattle's QB1 through and beyond the current offseason. 

The Jets, meanwhile, are widely expected to select BYU Cougars quarterback Zach Wilson with the second pick of the draft. 

According to multiple reports, the Panthers will exercise the fifth-year option attached to Darnold's contract and begin training camp sessions with him atop their depth chart. 

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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