The Jets finally have a decent coach to lead them next season. There is even an Offensive Coordinator that can actually find a couple of yards here and there and perhaps the end zone. The defensive side of the ball is looking solid as well. Now, the only question remains. Who will be under center when the season starts?
I have listened to many critics, analysts, fan rants and speculations about keep or trade Sam the Man. Honestly, I have gone back and forth many times thinking about that same dilemma. Darnold has shown flashes of a good QB and then times where Sanchez might look better at QB over Darnold. (Hey, they're both USC alumni.) Yes, by now the fan base has moved on from Trevor Lawrence, or should have by now. Unless Jacksonville sees something nobody else can and passes over him. I seriously doubt THAT WILL HAPPEN!
There are two other QBs in the draft beside young Trevor which are Justin Fields and Zach Wilson. My argument is which way should the Jets pursue? Hold onto Darnold and build around him if our new QB coach can make him a good quality and reliable QB, or wipe the slate clean and draft one of the two rookies available.
I think we can spare the debate that Darnold did not receive fair treatment in the three years he has been here. He had an offensive line that had more holes than swiss cheese. His targets, besides Crowder, were young and inexperienced and are still trying to get a grip. Bell didn't prosper well in NY, Gore is old and will move on, and the other RBs are young. So, should the Jets give Sam one more year to prove himself and say draft Sewell at #2 to shore up the tackles with Beckton? If so, should JD actually find good weapons for Sam to work with? And not retread veterans looking for redemption. I believe there is a good argument that the Jets CAN build around Darnold if they have the faith and believe in him. The HC and GM need to be on the same page with the same opinion about that.
Now, assuming the Jets move on from Darnold, and do not make a blockbuster trade from Watson, the team will draft a rookie. This can go two ways of course. The obvious is that you have a rookie that needs to learn the system, adjust to the NFL and contribute. Over time whoever is selected will grow and thrive and may become that elusive QB we have been yearning for. Then the other side is that this rookie cannot adjust and becomes a bust and it's back to the drawing board. Of course, I'm saying there is a 50-50 risk on the draft pick for a QB. There is always a risk on a drafting QB. My goodness, look at Hackenburg. Wait, bad example. Moving on!
There are teams watching and waiting to see what will unfold. There has been comments that Darnold is fixable and can turn into a terrific QB. My question is, did the Jets damage Sam too much to repair in New York or should they let him go to greener pastures and flourish? In my opinion, which doesn't amount to much, is that the Jets will move on and shuffle him off to somewhere. Wherever he lands Darnold will become the QB that the Jets banked on when they drafted him third back in a day. And every time he plays the Jets he will remind them what they did to him. There certainly are other teams looking for a competitive QB and Darnold being only 23 is a plus side for any team to take a chance on him. There are coaches out there that most likely will get him to shine. Could the Jets do that still? Do they even want to take the time and try?
Either way, the QB under center next season will not come from an easy decision. Whoever is running this offense will be a gamble whether it is Darnold or a rookie. What matters most are the quality players surrounding the QB. Garbage in, garbage out! There will be debates and endless conversations about this. There are teams anxiously awaiting to see what happens in New York. Honestly, Darnold's fate in New York might not be decided until Draft Day!