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NFL rumors: Could the Jets trade QB Sam Darnold?

NFL Week 15 schedule: Rams-Jets
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) and head coach Adam Gase walk off the field together after a disappointing shut-out loss against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium on Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, in East Rutherford. Nyj Vs Ne Week 7

The New York Jets enter their Week 5 game against the Arizona Cardinals at 0-4 on the season. Head coach Adam Gase is firmly on the hot seat. Former No. 3 overall pick Sam Darnold is sidelined to injury. The Jets are averaging 16 points per game while yielding an average of nearly 33. Needless to say, things are not going swimmingly in New Jersey. It’s led to some rumors.

There’s now some scuttlebutt that includes the possibility New York looks to trade Darnold after just three seasons with the team. ESPN’s Adam Schefter recently focused on this, pointing out the possibility that the Jets could land the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, selecting Clemson’s quarterback Trevor Lawrence in the process.

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NFL rumors: Could the Jets trade Sam Darnold?

Schefter likened this to the 2019 NFL Draft. The Arizona Cardinals had just recently selected former UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen the year before. They were then able to land the No. 1 selection, Heisman Winner Kyler Murray, in 2019. That led to Arizona dealing Rosen to the Miami Dolphins during the 2019 NFL Draft for a second-round pick.

It was somewhat of an unfortunate situation for the young signal caller. While he struggled as a rookie, we already know that signal callers tend to have steep learning curves from college football to the professional ranks. Rosen ultimately lasted just one season in Miami before being waived ahead of the 2020 season, joining the Buccaneers’ practice squad in the process. That came after rumors Miami was looking to trade him.

NFL rumors: What could the Jets get in a Sam Darnold trade?

“I don’t think they’d get a first-round pick for Sam, but it also depends what he puts on tape the rest of the year,” one general manager told Schefter. “The problem is, (Darnold) is struggling with his accuracy, his durability — so they’re in a tough spot. And if everyone knows the Jets are taking a quarterback, then they won’t get as much back.”

That is similar to the Cardinals’ situation with Rosen back in 2019. Arizona was said to be holding out for a first-round selection for the former top-10 selection. Once it became obvious that the team was going to select Murray No. 1 overall, any advantage the Cardinals had in trade talks was thrown out the window.

As for Darnold, he started 13 games in each of his first two seasons. The former USC standout dealt with injury issues and health concerns throughout his sophomore campaign. He’s currently sidelined with a shoulder injury. For his career, the 23-year-old Darnold has posted a 11-19 record with 39 touchdowns and 32 interceptions in 30 starts.

NFL rumors: What teams might show interest in a Sam Darnold trade?

This is obviously dependent on the Jets’ asking price in any Darnold trade. If it’s similar to the Rosen situation in that New York is forced to settle on a second-round selection, there wouldn’t be a lack of interest in the still-young quarterback.

Teams that have more-veteran quarterbacks such as the Vikings, Buccaneers, Lions and Steelers would show interest in that scenario. If we’re looking at a first-round pick, it gets a bit more convoluted. Either way, rumors are going to heat up in this regard should the Jets continue to struggle.