The idea has come up recently as it’s become clear that the Jets’ trade market for Darnold is not strong, perhaps not even a third-round pick.
Obviously, the Jets would like to get a good return for Darnold in a trade and turn the page at quarterback. However, Rapoport says the Jets don’t “need” to trade Darnold and his value could improve if he ends up playing this season.
Former Jets backup QB Josh McCown said on Sunday he believed Darnold wouldn’t cause issues if the Jets decided to take that path.
“Can it be done? Absolutely,” McCown said via ESPN’s Rich Cimini. “In my mind, if you can’t get the value now for him, that’s absolutely how you go about it. I wouldn’t even call it a competition. I would just say, ‘We’re going to go with Sam as the guy and bring Zach along.’ If Sam knocks it out of the park, we’ll re-evaluate where we are a year from now.”
Rapoport says there are still teams, including the Panthers, who could be interested in trading for Darnold at some point.
Eight teams have reportedly reached out to the Jets regarding Darnold, so there is some level of trade interest should New York move on.
Reports indicated the Jets wanted to evaluate the incoming class of rookie quarterbacks, including having the chance to see BYU’s Zach Wilson and Ohio State’s Justin Fields throw at their pro days on March 26 and March 30 respectively, before making a final decision on how to handle their quarterback spot.
Darnold, 23, is a former first-round pick of the Jets back in 2018. He’s entering the fourth year of his four-year, $30,370,490 contract with the Jets that included a $20,167,628 signing bonus.
The contract includes a fifth-year option for the Jets to pick up in 2021 that would be worth $18.858 million guaranteed in 2022.
In 2020, Darnold appeared in 12 games for the Jets and threw for 2,208 yards, nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions while completing 59.6 percent of his passes to go along with 217 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
We’ll have more on Darnold and the Jets as the news is available.