The New York Jets are expected to select one of the top quarterbacks in the 2021 NFL draft next month, leaving Sam Darnold's future with the franchise in doubt.
If the Jets take BYU's Zach Wilson, Darnold could be traded this offseason. However, New York probably won't get much in exchange for the 23-year-old.
ESPN's Kimberley A. Martin spoke with three NFL general managers about what they would give up to acquire Darnold. Two said they'd be willing to part ways with a third-round pick, while one said "maybe" a third or conditional fourth.
Just mentioned this on @GetUpESPN: Talked to three NFL GMs about the market for Sam Darnold. I asked what’s the most they’d be willing to give up: Two said a 3rd Rd pick — with one saying even a late 3rd would be “a little rich.” The other GM said “maybe” a 3rd or conditional 4th— Kimberley A. Martin (@ByKimberleyA) March 29, 2021
Martin adds she was told that whoever trades for Darnold won't pick up his option this spring.
The 2018 third-overall pick is a tough sell. He has struggled mightily in his three NFL seasons, going 13-25 while completing 59.8% of his passes for 8,097 yards and 45 touchdowns against 39 interceptions. He's also missed time due to injury and illness and has never played a full season.
Despite his struggles, Jets general manager Joe Douglas has backed Darnold in recent weeks, saying, "We have no doubt he's going to achieve his outstanding potential." Of course, his comments could be a ploy to drive up his trade value, though that remains to be seen.
It's unclear which teams might pursue Darnold this offseason. However, it was reported earlier this month that several franchises inquired about his availability.