sam darnold jets
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets will need to trade Sam Darnold if they draft BYU quarterback Zach Wilson. What could they realistically acquire in return?

It was once believed that Sam Darnold‘s trade value could’ve potentially been a late first-round pick. The Jets would’ve probably needed to give him up along with a third-rounder in order to receive that type of return.

Then, as more and more teams figured out their question mark-filled starting quarterback spots, Darnold’s trade value became a second or third-rounder, or possibly both.

Now, the value might be even less than that, according to Kimberley A. Martin of ESPN.

Picking up Darnold’s option, regardless of where he ends up for the 2021 season, would keep him under contract through 2022. The lingering uncertainty regarding his on-field ability to succeed would halt teams from making that type of investment in him.

So who would even send a third-round pick and/or conditional fourth-rounder?

There are only a few teams remaining that could be deemed potential trade suitors for 2018’s No. 3 overall pick out of USC. Denver may be in the mix if the Broncos don’t believe Drew Lock is their long-term answer at quarterback moving forward. The young signal-caller hasn’t done much through his first two seasons to prove that he is — he completed just 57.3% of his passes this past year and led the league with 15 picks. This obviously isn’t ideal in an AFC West division that includes the superstar that is Patrick Mahomes and an up-and-coming star in Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert.

The Broncos can’t afford to screw up again when it comes to choosing their starting quarterback — they’ve done so multiple times since Peyton Manning retired following the 2015 season.

Carolina could additionally be in the Darnold market amid the growing belief that four quarterbacks may be off the draft board by the time the Panthers choose at No. 8 overall (unless, of course, they trade up).

In regard to the other teams that could’ve traded for Sam, Indianapolis is out after the trade for Carson Wentz, San Francisco is drafting a quarterback (most likely) after trading up to the No. 3 pick, Washington may be out after the signing of Ryan Fitzpatrick and the same goes for Chicago after acquiring Andy Dalton on a one-year deal.

There simply isn’t as large of a market for Darnold right now, an issue for the Jets if they were looking to grab any sort of high-round pick for their current starting quarterback.

NYY

NYM

NYG

NYJ

NYK

BKN

NYR

NYI

NJD

SJU