Last week it was understood that the Jets had received calls from four different teams enquiring about the availability of Sam Darnold in a potential trade.
Albert Breer in his MMQB column has revealed that the Jets have received even more calls this week about the 23-year-old Darnold who has one year left on his rookie deal with a 5th-year option available.
More have called since, I’m told, and the answer those teams got was the same that the ones calling before got—Check back with us soon. Right now, the Jets coaching staff is working through its tape evaluation of the draft-eligible quarterbacks, which is a huge piece to all of his.
More suitors improve your chances of getting a better return. We don’t know how serious these teams are and what they’d be willing to part with to get Sam, but having 8 teams interested is better than having 4 teams interested. If you have four and only 1 is serious, then you’re not going to be able to drive the price up. If you have multiple serious suitors then your options expand.
Breer goes on to say that the evaluation is to compare and contrast what Zach Wilson, Justin Fields or Trey Lance offer the Jets over Sam Darnold, and you have to believe that Sam Darnold's contract situation will come into play. If they believe Darnold’s ceiling is lower or even equal to that of any of the rookies, then they’ll move on.
The QB carousel hasn’t quite accelerated following the trade of Stafford to the LA Rams. Many thought that Wentz would be dealt early last week, but that trade has yet to materialise. The rumours indicate that Wentz will be heading to either the Bears or the Colts, with the Colts being heavily linked to Darnold. If Wentz is moved to the Colts, that eliminates them from potential suitors for Darnold.
It’s an interesting situation to watch as we’re just a month away from Free Agency.
Another small note in MMQB revolves around the Jets and their #2 selection. Breer comments that he believes the Jets are more likely to stick at #2 than deal that pick.
Personally, I think that point is directly related to the first point. If the Jets decide to move on from Darnold, then I fully expect them to stay at #2 and select whichever QB came out on top in their evaluation, whether that's Zach Wilson or Justin Fields (It could be Trey Lance, but he’s a much bigger project so I’d be surprised).
If they decide to stick with Darnold, then staying at #2 doesn’t make that much sense. Some have the Jets taking an offensive tackle or a wide receiver at that spot, but that would be questionable. The Jets don’t need to spend a top 5 pick on an offensive tackle (history and statistics back this up) a year after spending the #11 pick on Becton, and in a deep receiver class they can pick up a quality starter further down the first round.
With so many holes to fill on this roster, it makes perfect sense to move down and acquire more selections. There are plenty of teams looking for a QB who will happily move to #2 to ensure they get their first pick. Use that to your advantage.