4 likeliest Sam Darnold trade scenarios

It’s looking more and more like the New York Jets are going to pull off a Sam Darnold trade here soon. General manager Joe Douglas has received a ton of interest in the former No. 3 overall pick.

Meanwhile, new Jets head coach Robert Saleh does not have a built-in relationship with Darnold. Whether it’s a blockbuster trade for Deshaun Watson or selecting a quarterback No. 2 in the 2021 NFL Draft, look for Saleh to find his own guy. If that is indeed the case, expect a trade here soon. Below, we look at the four best Sam Darnold trade scenarios.

Sam Darnold trade to the Washington Football Team

Sam Darnold trade to Washington Football Team
Dec 27, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) talks with teammates during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not yet known whether Comeback Player of the Year Alex Smith will return to D.C. next season. The veteran quarterback is said to be contemplating retirement. Meanwhile, Washington showed interest in former Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford prior to him being traded to the Los Angeles Rams.

Read More: Washington Football Team quarterback: 5 best replacement options for 2021

What does this all mean? Well, Ron Rivera and Co. will be looking for a veteran starting quarterback during the offseason. The 23-year-old Darnold would make sense in that he could also be a long-term option in the nation’s capital. Perhaps, Washington offers up the 51st overall pick for Darnold.

Sam Darnold trade to the Dallas Cowboys

Could a Sam Darnold trade be coming?
Dec 12, 2019; Baltimore, MD, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) stands on the field before the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys might be saying everything right when it comes to injured quarterback Dak Prescott. However, that does not change the fact that there was a contract stalemate between the two ahead of the 2020 NFL season.

On the off-chance that Dallas looks to franchise and trade Prescott this coming March, a Sam Darnold trade becomes more than possible. Owner Jerry Jones is not going to sit idly by and let Dallas hit quarterback purgatory. That’s for sure.

Read More: Dallas Cowboys, Dak Prescott ‘not close’ in contract talks entering 2021 offseason

The idea here would be to team Darnold up with the likes of Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup, giving the still-young signal caller the best supporting cast he’s ever had. Darnold would also come a lot cheaper than Prescott.

Sam Darnold trade to the Denver Broncos

Sam Darnold trade for Drew Lock?
Dec 27, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (3) looks to pass during the first half against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It’s clear that the Broncos are looking to upgrade from Drew Lock at quarterback. That’s why they were linked to Matthew Stafford ahead of his trade to the Rams and are reportedly in on Deshaun Watson. For good reason. Despite missing some time to injury last season, Lock still tied for the league lead in interceptions with 15.

Read More: Denver Broncos quarterback: Top 4 options for 2021 NFL season

New Broncos general manager George Paton will likely want his own quarterback under center in 2021, too. That can’t be lost in all of this after John Elway gave up his decision-making duties. Selecting No. 9 overall in April after down season, Denver will miss out on the top-three quarterback prospects barring a trade up. Why not pull off a Sam Darnold trade by moving the 40th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft?

Sam Darnold trade to the San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco 49ers trade Jimmy Garoppolo?
Oct 25, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) throws a pass against the New England Patriots in the first quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no longer a guarantee that Jimmy Garoppolo will return to the 49ers next season. He’s coming off another injury-plagued season that saw the quarterback take part in just six games. Meanwhile, Garoppolo simply has not lived up to expectations in San Francisco since being traded by New England back in 2017. Heck, there’s a chance the Patriots look to bring back Garoppolo.

Read More: 49ers quarterback: Top 5 options for 2021 NFL season

San Francisco can get out from under Garoppolo’s contract, via a trade or release this offseason, saving a whopping $23.6 million against the cap. With impending free agents such as Richard Sherman and Trent Williams, it’s something the team might have to consider. The 49ers have been linked to Darnold on a near never-ending loop. Kyle Shanahan loved him coming out of USC back in 2018. Of all the potential trades, this makes the most sense.