The number of teams that have reached out to the Jets, demonstrating interest in trading for Sam Darnold, continues to grow.
Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer reported on Monday that eight different franchises have inquired with the Jets about Darnold's availability this offseason.
Here's Breer with an update in his latest MMQB:
A lot of the basics remain unchanged from what we’ve told you over the last month. The Jets have taken calls, and haven’t seemed to be in any particular rush to move their 23-year-old former first-rounder. No one’s blown them away. They’d like to get a look at Trey Lance (March 12), Zach Wilson (March 26) and Justin Fields (March 31) throwing live at their pro days, which will be the only shot teams get to see the quarterbacks sling it in person, before making a final decision. This week, there are a few things we can add.
• At this point, eight teams have called the Jets about Darnold with varying levels of interest.
• The expectation is the Jets will max out their number of allowable personnel at those pro days (at most schools it’s the NFL-mandated limit of three), and the top guys (some combination of GM Joe Douglas, coach Robert Saleh and OC Mike LaFleur) will attend.
• While, again, the preference is to see the quarterbacks throw live before they make a call on Darnold, the Jets are cognizant that holding onto Darnold past the start of free agency, with quarterback vacancies filling across the league, could hurt his value. So it’s not impossible that they’d move faster
Last time we heard from Breer about Darnold, there were five teams that have reached out, so that number has nearly doubled over the last several weeks. Obviously some of those teams may no longer be in the market for a quarterback—namely the Colts who traded for Carson Wentz—but that leaves plenty of options for New York should they decide to make a deal.
The biggest takeaway from this update is that nothing has changed. Teams are interested, the Jets are in the throws of internal evaluations while listening to offers and realistically, we can't expect any sort of decision to be made until New York gets a look at the top quarterbacks from this year's draft.
Remember, Jets general manager Joe Douglas acknowledged this past week that he will be listening to phone calls from other teams on Darnold. That's quite the reversal considering Douglas once said Darnold was untouchable.
Breer added that there are three teams that particularly catch his eye that could pull the trigger on a deal for Darnold: the 49ers, Bears and Washington Football Team. Take a playoff-caliber roster, add Darnold under center and you have to figure the quarterback will improve with weapons around him, right?
The only question remaining is will one of those teams offer enough in a trade package to entice the Jets to say goodbye to their franchise quarterback.
- Sam Darnold Trade Proposal: Jets, 49ers Swap First Round Picks
- Sam Darnold to the Bears? NFL Insider Predicts Chicago Will Trade For New York's Quarterback
- Sam Darnold Trade Proposal: Does Washington Offer Enough to New York?