Once Jets QB Savior Replaced by Traded No. 1 Pick: Report

Sam Darnold, Panthers

Getty Carolina Panthers QB Sam Darnold giving a weird look to Baker Mayfield during practice.

In April of 2021, the New York Jets decided to hit the eject button on Sam Darnold as they set their sights on Zach Wilson in the upcoming NFL draft.

The former USC stud got a new opportunity via trade with the Carolina Panthers and the Jets got a fresh start. Now fast forward another year later, and the Panthers are now replacing Darnold with a former No. 1 pick in Baker Mayfield.

That news became unofficially official on Wednesday, August 17.

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A Swapping of the Guard

Jeff Howe and Joe Person of The Athletic both shared this week that Mayfield is expected to be named the Week 1 starting quarterback to kick off the 2022 season for Carolina.

Since being added to the roster a few weeks ahead of training camp he had been battling with Darnold. However, the competition is over and all we have to wait for now is for the fat lady to warm up her pipes.

Howe and Person said the Panthers will make it official when they’re ready to make the announcement but it is written in stone.

This means Mayfield has officially replaced Darnold as the top quarterback in Carolina.

Official Waving of the White Flag

It is still very much to be determined what Wilson becomes with the Jets, however, we now have a sense of finality on the trade.

By replacing a quarterback you traded for by trading for another quarterback, the Panthers probably waved the white flag back in July. However, with Mayfield set to start the season, the flag has now been aggressively waved.

General manager Joe Douglas deserves a bouquet of flowers for expertly maneuvering this trade last offseason. He maximized a quarterback’s value that hadn’t performed to a level that is acceptable and got three future draft picks in return (a second-rounder, fourth-rounder, and a sixth-rounder).

Throughout his tenure as the top dog of the Jets, Douglas has flexed his proverbial muscles in trades. He has gotten more value than anyone thought possible whether it is the Jamal Adams deal, Chris Herndon, Blake Cashman, or yes even this Darnold deal.

The Adams one normally gets all the praise from the public for the sheer volume and quality of picks, but some of these other ones deserve their moment in the sun.

Ultimately how Douglas is remembered will be based on his ability to win football games. If the Jets turn it around and are a competitive team that is vying for the playoffs in 2022, JD will get rose petals thrown at his feet.

However, if this thing bottoms out again, Douglas could be looking for new employment come January.

These trades have been spectacular and a rallying point for the fans during all of these losing times. Although they won’t and don’t mean anything unless you start to win games.

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