Sam Darnold on Carolina Panthers: ‘I’m excited to get here’

Jan 3, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) looks to pass against the New England Patriots during the second quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Sam Darnold arrived in Charlotte on Sunday, and the quarterback of the Carolina Panthers is ready to get to work for his new employer.

And with Darnold came some reflection about his three seasons with the New York Jets and a bunch of optimism about what lies ahead.

“There’s a little bit of both — relief and excitement,” Darnold said. “There’s been so much uncertainty this offseason, not knowing what your future was going to look like, that was hard.

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“But now that I’m in Charlotte, I’m excited, and yeah, I guess I am kind of relieved to be here.”

The Jets selected Darnold with the No. 3 pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. Between injuries and illness, coaching changes and ineptness with the Jets offense, his tenure as the face of the franchise lasted just three seasons.

The Jets have the No. 2 selection in the upcoming NFL draft and are expected to select former BYU quarterback Zach Wilson.

So that leaves Darnold, still just 23, to start over. And he said he’s glad to be doing it with the Panthers in an offense led by coach Matt Rhule and coordinator Joe Brady and anchored by All-Pro Christian McCaffrey.

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“The culture that’s being set here is amazing,” Darnold said. “That’s probably the part that intrigues me the most about this.”

He’s scheduled for his first day in the Carolina facility on Monday, and he understands the opportunities that lie ahead for him.

“To go from being unwanted to being wanted is huge,” Darnold told the team website.

“Getting that news that you’re going to be traded, of a team saying, ‘Hey, we didn’t want you,” for whatever reason, is hard.

“But right now, I feel great about it, and I’m excited to get here, and get started.”

–Field Level Media