Sam Darnold loves being a part of the New York Jets. His future with the team, however, is certainly in question.
It’s a tough situation to be in if you’re Sam Darnold right now. No, he hasn’t performed up to the standards of a No. 3 overall pick, a selection the New York Jets used on him back in 2018. Nonetheless, the team around him isn’t all that great either. And the coaching? It’s a given that that’s not up to par whatsoever.
The Jets are 0-13 following a blowout loss to the Seahawks and one step closer to the No. 1 overall pick in 2021, which they’d likely use on Clemson star quarterback Trevor Lawrence (if he ultimately declares for the draft). It’s obviously not Darnold’s decision whether he parts from the team, but regardless, he’s not shying away from expressing how he truly feels about the organization.
#Jets QB Sam Darnold asked if a change of scenery could benefit him.
“I love it here … I love living here.
"I’ve always said I want to be a Jet for life, but that decision isn’t up to me.”
— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) December 14, 2020
Dealing with injuries (to himself and others), a below-average offensive line, and as was mentioned before, an abysmal coaching staff led by the soon-to-be-fired Adam Gase, Darnold has thrown for just 1,560 yards along with five touchdowns. At the moment, his yards-per-attempt rate (5.8), yards-per-game rate (173.3), and quarterback rating (67.3) are all career-lows for a season.
Unless he shines in the final three games and the Jets somehow win each en route to losing out on the No. 1 pick, his clock in Florham Park is ticking. And that might not even be enough to keep him around, who knows?
Connor Hughes of The Athletic quote tweeted his own tweet above, writing, “This tugged on the heart strings.” That’s definitely something that many would agree with, whether you’re a fan of this disgruntled Jets team or not. Darnold wishes to perform well and win ballgames, both of which haven’t occurred in 2020.
The Jets face the Rams, Browns, and Patriots to close out the year; losing all three would guarantee them the top overall draft selection. Right now, the Jacksonville Jaguars are 1-12 and hold the No. 2 pick, but both teams finishing 1-15 would almost certainly provide the Jags with the No. 1 selection due to the difference in schedule strength.
With that said, it’s only a matter of time before the Jets might have their hands tied and be forced to acquire Lawrence.
And where would Darnold go from there? Well, there are a few potential teams.
Some may say the Patriots, but it’s tough to imagine the organization trading Darnold to a division rival, especially one that employs Bill Belichick as head coach.
The Steelers are a possibility, but it’s likely the Jets would prefer to trade him to a team outside of the conference.
The Falcons? Matt Ryan is only getting older. The Buccaneers? Darnold could back up Tom Brady until he eventually retires. The Bears? Mitch Trubisky isn’t exactly lighting it up and fulfilling the standards of a No. 2 overall pick.
There are a number of possible scenarios, and if the Jets ultimately select Lawrence, time will tell where Darnold continues his NFL career.