Sam Darnold speaks out as one of the newest members of the Carolina Panthers following a trade from the New York Jets.
The Jets last week made the move many were anticipating for quite some time.
The organization ultimately sent quarterback Sam Darnold to the Panthers for three draft picks, one of which will be in this year’s sixth round. It comes in the wake of the very likely drafting of BYU quarterback Zach Wilson at No. 2 overall later this month.
Darnold now possesses a chance to restart his career after three not-so-easy years in Florham Park.
How exactly is the young quarterback feeling about the news?
“There’s a little bit of both — relief and excitement,” Darnold told Darin Gantt of the Panthers official website. “There’s been so much uncertainty this offseason, not knowing what your future was going to look like, that was hard…But now that I’m in Charlotte, I’m excited, and yeah, I guess I am kind of relieved to be here.”
However, that doesn’t exactly mean this process has been all peaches and cream for the 2018 No. 3 overall pick; Darnold wasn’t all too happy when the Jets decided to move him.
“I imagined I was going to be the franchise quarterback of the New York Jets for a long time,” he said. “And once you realize that the team that drafted you is moving on, it stings a little bit.”
Some believed the Jets could’ve rolled the dice with Darnold and traded their No. 2 overall pick this offseason. Darnold, in a number of cases, deserved the benefit of the doubt when it came to his on-field performance with the Jets — he didn’t possess significant offensive assistance around him and was guided by a struggling head coach in Adam Gase for two years.
He could’ve improved with head coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur now on the sidelines as well as an improved slate of weapons that includes free-agent pickups Corey Davis and Keelan Cole. The No. 23 overall pick the Jets possess this year thanks to the 2020 trade of Jamal Adams could additionally be used on an offensive weapon, which would’ve assisted in Darnold’s development.
However now the attention turns from Darnold towards Wilson’s on-field improvement. The Jets wish to undergo a full restart with a new head coach and quarterback, and they’re hoping to provide the latter with as smooth a transition into the pros as possible.