The New York Jets seem to be more than ready to start from scratch after hiring defensive minded head coach, Robert Saleh. Starting from scratch in New York will most certainly start with QB Sam Darnold and the value the Jets can consume, but where could the USC-product land?
No one truly knows for sure if the Jets plan to trade Darnold, keep him, cut him who knows, but what we do understand is there is a strong QB market for this particular offseason and New York looks poised to capitalize on it. The Colts traded for Carson Wentz just days ago so that totally eliminates Indianapolis from the mix, and teams like Carolina and Denver have their eyes fixed on Deshaun Watson and completing a blockbuster trade.
Let’s dive into some trade partners and what it could take to find Sam Darnold a new home.
San Francisco 49ers
49ers receive: QB Sam Darnold, 2022 5th-round pick.
Jets receive: 2021 2nd-round pick, 2021 5th-round pick, 2022 4th-round pick.
The 49ers could roll with QB Jimmy Garrapolo, or they could trade for Deshaun Watson, or even snag a young QB in this years NFL draft. Another option is trading for a starting-caliber QB, that is cap friendly, such as Sam Darnold. Darnold could easily manage a game and succeed with Kyle Shanahan much like Garrapolo has done. Darnold wouldn’t go for too cheap, but New York will live with more draft assets of top of their league-leading draft picks in 2021.
Bears receive: QB Sam Darnold, WR Jamison Crowder, 2021 6th-round pick.
Jets receive: 2021 1st-round pick (20th overall), 2021 4th-round pick.
The Jets have rumored to be eyeing a “surprise cut” with WR Jamison Crowder, but a package deal makes too much sense here. Darnold gets his best weapon from New York, and the Jets nod yet another 1st-round selection in this years draft. Chicago is in dire need of a QB, adding Crowder to the mix just makes the trade even better.
Washington Football Team
WFT receive: QB Sam Darnold.
Jets receive: 2021 3rd-round pick, 2021 4th-round pick.
The Washington Football Team currently have two QBs in Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen on the roster, but most believe that Washington is in the QB-market this offseason. Darnold doesn’t stick out like Deshaun Watson or Derek Carr, but it could be a potential turn out with Darnold and Washington for years to come. Washington then would have a good idea going into the draft who they could select whether it be another QB or a skill position.
New Orleans Saints
Saints receive: QB Sam Darnold.
Jets receive: 2021 1st-round pick (28th overall), 2023 4th-round pick.
This trade doesn’t make sense at all in terms of cap space, but the Saints truly need to fill their void at QB switch Drew Brees retiring. This franchise could boom or bust from here on out and that mainly depends on the QB position, and yeah Jameis Winston is a viable option for a year or two maybe more, but Sam Darnold and Sean Payton could click. Not to mention Darnold would have top tier weapons in RB Alvin Kamara and WR Michael Thomas to work with. New York would snag a 1st-round pick mainly because of how desperate the Saints will be for a starting caliber quarterback.
Texans receive: QB Sam Darnold, 2021 1st-round pick (2nd overall), 2022 1st round pick, 2022 3rd-round pick, 2024 3rd-round pick.
Jets receive: QB Deshaun Watson, 2022 5th-round pick.
As of now, the Texans hold strong on keeping QB Deshaun Watson but in all likely hood he will eventually be sent off somewhere. New York is on Watson’s destination list and has a ton of draft capital to work with in a trade scenario with Houston. Two 1st-round picks including this years 2nd overall pick , two additional 3rd-round picks, and a fill in with Sam Darnold at QB would easily be Houston’s best option at an immediate turn around.