Jets rumors: Team seemingly uncommitted to QB Sam Darnold

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New York Jets rumors this coming spring will focus heavily on the quarterback position. Sure getting a new head coach to replace the recently-fired Adam Gase is the first order of business for general manager Joe Douglas. However, he’s also going to have to address the most-important position on the football field.

Douglas gave his season-ending press conference recently after his Jets finished up shop on a disastrous two-win campaign. In the presser, the Jets’ front office head addressed the Sam Darnold situation.

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Jets rumors: Team seemingly uncommitted to QB Sam Darnold

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“I think Sam has a very bright future in this league,” Douglas said, via ESPN. “We’re going to get a head coach in here, we’re going to get together and we’re going to talk about quite a few decisions. I’m excited about Sam.”

If New York had acquired the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Darnold situation wouldn’t even be up for discussion. Trevor Lawrence would have been the Jets’ starting quarterback Week 1 of next season.

But after winning two consecutive games at the end of the season, these Jets yielded that pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars, and with it, an opportunity to land Lawrence. Jets rumors have since focused on the possibility that they could decide to retain Darnold or trade out of the second selection.

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New York’s options with the second pick include Zach Wilson (BYU) and Justin Fields (Ohio State). The team could also trade out of the second spot and acquire a bounty of picks, retaining Darnold to be their starting quarterback for at least one more season.

It must be noted that Douglas does not have a built-in relationship with Darnold. Former general manager Mike Maccagnan selected the USC product No. 2 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, one year before Douglas gained his current title.

Perhaps, the Jets opt to go the veteran route at quarterback while moving on from Darnold. Detroit Lions Pro Bowler Matthew Stafford and former NFL MVP Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons could be available in trade talks once free agency opens. A lot of this will depend on the Jets’ next head coach.

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  • Eric Bieniemy: The Chiefs’ offensive coordinator interviewed for the Jets’ opening on Wednesday. There’s a good chance he sits atop the list.
  • Joe Brady: Finishing up shop on his first season as the Panthers’ offensive coordinator, Brady is among the hottest NFL head coach candidates right now. He’s obviously drawing interest from the Jets.

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These are the three names that Jets rumors indicate sit atop their wish list. All three are offensive minds, meaning that they’ll be asked to evaluate Sam Darnold and the team’s quarterback situation.

It remains to be seen what hiring any of these candidates would mean for Darnold in Jersey. We’re sure that conversation has been part of the interview process with Douglas and New York’s brass.

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