Fowler says the Jets truly have gone into this offseason with every option under consideration. He adds there is still legitimate support for Darnold’s NFL future in the building.
Kimberley Martin reports the Jets will also face a challenge in trying to trade Darnold due to some of the logistics around his contract, and might only be able to get a third-round pick at best.
Darnold’s fifth-year option is due this May and will guarantee him $18.58 million in 2022 if picked up. The Jets almost certainly won’t do that and Martin adds any team that potentially acquires Darnold also would decline the option.
Martin says any team trading for Darnold, in addition to having to take a leap of faith that he’s better than what his production has been his first three seasons, would also have to make their long-term evaluation off just one year when he’s learning a new system, adapting to new teammates and working with coaches to eliminate bad habits.
It’s a tough sell, which is why Martin writes that Darnold’s market is more lukewarm now.
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 have indicated the Jets want 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.
Darnold, 23, is a former first-round pick of the Jets back in 2018. He’s currently in the third year of his four-year, $30,370,490 contract with the Jets that included a $20,167,628 signing bonus.
The contract will also include a fifth-year option for the Jets to pick up in 2021.
In 2020, Darnold has appeared in 10 games for the Jets and completed 59.7 percent of his passes for 1,767 yards, six touchdowns and nine interceptions. He has also rushed for 194 yards and two touchdowns.
We’ll have more on Darnold and the Jets as the news is available.