The New York Jets have traded quarterback Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for the Panthers’ sixth round selection in the 2021 NFL draft and the Panthers’ second and fourth round selections in the 2022 NFL draft. The trade gives the Jets 10 selections in the 2021 NFL draft and 11 selections in the 2022 NFL draft.
With the Darnold trade, James Morgan becomes the current top quarterback on the Jets’ roster. This is pretty clearly not going to be the case for the 2021 season. Barring an unlikely trade for a top quarterback, the Jets are now more or less locked in at quarterback for the #2 overall selection in the draft.
Darnold’s stay in New York ends with unfulfilled promise. The #3 overall selection in the 2018 NFL draft, Darnold was seen then as the answer to a long standing issue for the Jets at starting quarterback. Darnold had the misfortune of spending his first years in the NFL with terrible surrounding talent and terrible coaches. Whether you believe those were the primary causes of Darnold’s struggles or you believe Darnold himself bears a substantial portion of the blame, the results were indisputable. Darnold spent three seasons with the Jets as one of the lowest ranked starting quarterbacks in the NFL, and ranked dead last in the 2020 season. Those results were the handwriting on the wall that, with a new regime in town, change was likely coming. That change is now here with this trade, and perhaps both Darnold and the Jets will benefit.