Not long ago, Jets general manager Joe Douglas would let the phone ring if a team were to call and express interest in a potential trade. The GM once called New York's former No. 3 overall pick "untouchable."
Now, Douglas is answering those calls. One of these days, if the voice on the other end presents a deal that New York can't refuse, Darnold's tenure in green and white may come to an end.
Addressing the media on Wednesday for the first time this offseason, Douglas said that while the organization's collective stance on Darnold hasn't changed, they are open to listening to those trade proposals and having those conversations going forward.
"I will answer the call if it’s made," Douglas said in a Zoom call with reporters. "As it pertains to Sam, we think he’s a dynamic player in this league with unbelievable talent who really has a chance to hit his outstanding potential moving forward. If calls are made, I will answer them."
Darnold has been unable to take the next step in the NFL, failing to develop over his first three years in the league. With new head coach Robert Saleh coming in, bringing along a new offensive coordinator (Mike LaFleur) and coaching staff, it's possible this franchise is ready to move on from Darnold this offseason.
That said, Douglas recognized that Darnold has untapped potential and he's still capable of producing in this league. He just hasn't blossomed quite yet.
"He’s an extremely talented player," Douglas said. "He’s very smart, very tough. We have no doubt that Sam is going to achieve his outstanding potential. Obviously we’re in the process of gaining as much information as we can leading up through free agency and the draft but our stance on Sam has not changed."
In 2020, Darnold finished last among qualifying quarterbacks in QBR (40.2) and passer rating (72.7). He threw for only 2,208 yards across 12 games, tossing more interceptions (11) than touchdown passes (nine).
As for when New York will make a decision regarding the quarterback situation, and if they'll stick with Darnold, Douglas said he and his team are in no rush. The plan right now is to evaluate all possible options at the position and slowly progress toward a decision in the coming weeks (and months).
"Really our timeline right now is gathering as much information as we possibly can especially as it pertains, not only in free agency, but in this year’s draft class," Douglas said. "We feel like we’re in no hard timeline in the immediate future to make a decision but when we do make a decision, we’re going to do so after gathering as much good information as we possibly can."
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