The New York Jets made a game-changing decision this offseason that will shape the future of the franchise for many years to come.
While that’ll sound hyperbolic to some, it is the stone-cold truth. The Jets had to decide whether they wanted to give Sam Darnold another run or would they hit the reset button and take a new franchise quarterback with the No. 2 pick in the 2021 NFL draft?
After much back and forth they ultimately decided to wash their hands and start fresh. Darnold was sent to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for three draft choices a 2021 sixth-rounder and a 2022 second and fourth-rounder.
Fast forward a few months later and it looks like the ex-Jets quarterback could be on the move once again.
ALL the latest Jets news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Jets newsletter here!
On the Move Once Again
The former $30 million dollar man is likely heading to a new destination.
Jeremy Fowler of ESPN put on his prediction hat and gave some informed opinion on a variety of NFL quarterbacks that could be on the move in 2022.
Darnold is owed over $18.5 million in 2022 thanks to the Panthers picking up his fifth-year option back in May, but Carolina is considered “among the most aggressive” to go quarterback hunting (Deshaun Watson) this offseason.
Fowler suggested they could send the former Trojans quarterback to another team in a salary dump “in exchange for a seventh-rounder or something.”
One team that showed interest back when Darnold was on the Jets is the Washington Football Team and Fowler thought they’d be a good landing spot. Their quarterback situation is completely unsettled and they could take a flier and give Darnold another chance to compete for a starting gig.
“He’s probably a backup at this point,” a high-ranking AFC exec told Fowler. “I know some teams still like him, and he works hard — a really good kid and all that. I just don’t know if you can trust him in big moments.”
The Jets Got It Right
We don’t know whether or not Zach Wilson will be good or bad, honestly, that point is irrelevant. What we do know is the Jets got it right this offseason.
They decided to hit the eject button on the Darnold experiment at the perfect time. While there were some fans who were still attached to the fact the former USC star could turn things around, this season proved that was unlikely.
In his nine games with the Panthers, the 24-year-old threw seven touchdowns to 11 interceptions. Additionally, he coughed up six fumbles during that span as well.
After initially starting off the season hot and making the Jets front office feel like they made the wrong choice ultimately when the clock struck midnight the Cinderella story quickly ended.
Darnold was a turnover monster at USC, but the special plays clouded the picture. It was the same song and dance with the Jets and proved to be the same story with the Panthers.
It is still to be determined whether the choice of Wilson was correct, but for now, Jets fans can rest easy knowing they made the right choice dealing away Darnold when they did.
Follow @BoyGreen25 & @obermuller_nyj on Twitter for all the latest New York Jets breaking news, rumors, fresh takes and more!
READ NEXT: Jets Villain Gets a 2nd Chance, Young RB Realizes NFL Dream