Carolina welcomed the quarterback to town by paying homage to a humorous meme featuring the 23-year-old:
According to ESPN stats, Darnold finished his third and final season with Gang Green dead last in the NFL among eligible players with a 72.7 passer rating and 40.1 total QBR. On multiple occasions through the offseason, new Jets head coach Robert Saleh refused to commit to Darnold as his starter, and it was presumed before Monday's development the Jets would use the second overall pick of the upcoming draft to acquire Darnold's replacement.
Four different CBS Sports analysts are currently predicting the Jets will draft BYU Cougars quarterback Zach Wilson.
Carolina must make a decision on the fifth-year option attached to Darnold's contract by May 3. He would earn $18.8 million, fully guaranteed, for 2022 under that option.
ESPN's Rich Cimini explained that the Jets get $4.8 million in salary-cap relief for 2021 but will endure a $5 million "dead money" hit following the trade. Gang Green was previously linked with wantaway Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is now facing at least 22 lawsuits regarding accusations of sexual assault and misconduct. It's widely believed no team will actively pursue Watson amid the allegations.