For months, Sam Darnold wasn't sure what uniform he'd be wearing in 2021.
As trade rumors swirled this offseason, the quarterback admitted that the entire process was "driving him insane."
Once he learned he was traded to Carolina, the 23-year-old was able to take a sigh of relief. For someone that considers himself a planner, now he knows exactly what to expect for this upcoming season.
"That was a tough part for me. I like to have things planned out, what the next step was going to be," Darnold told reporters on Monday. "It was just such a relief to just find out the news and understand where my next stop is going to be."
Finding out about the trade was bittersweet for the signal-caller. In his first presser as a member of the Panthers, Darnold looked back on his aspirations with the Jets, playing for decades in New York and not just winning games, winning Super Bowls.
That, of course, didn't come to fruition.
Darnold went 13-25 under center in green and white, never tasting the postseason through his first three NFL seasons.
If the waiting game was tough this offseason, this part of the equation was even more of a challenge for Darnold.
"When I heard the news that they wanted to trade me, it was tough," Darnold said. "Anytime you're not wanted somewhere, that's always a tough pill to swallow. But then, it was the opposite feeling. You go from being unwanted and then all of a sudden, the people in Carolina wanted me and obviously traded for me. Things didn't work out the way that I wanted in New York but I was just so excited for a fresh start and a new opportunity."
Darnold's tenure with Gang Green came to an abrupt end, a disappointing one for all parties involved. The quarterback has a tremendous opportunity, however, to turn his career around with the Panthers, reuniting with wideout Robby Anderson while sharing the backfield with elite running back Christian McCaffrey.
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