Sam Darnold's third season with the Jets certainly didn't go as planned, but the quarterback's confidence about the future has never wavered.
"Year 3... So much to learn from and so many great teammates I grew closer with along the way," Darnold wrote in an Instagram post on Wednesday morning. "Not the season we envisioned but shared moments with people that I will never forget. Only up from here!!"
Darnold faced a multitude of challenges in 2020—from COVID-19 protocols to injuries across New York's roster—and it showed in his production. The third-year quarterback struggled mightily, finishing with the worst passer rating (72.7) in the league. He threw for only 2,208 yards with 11 interceptions and nine touchdowns in 12 games.
Although the 23-year-old has made it clear that he wants to stay in New York, his future in the NFL could be elsewhere. General manager Joe Douglas didn't commit to Darnold when he addressed the media at the end of the regular season, an apparent change in plans after calling Darnold the Jets' "quarterback for the future" a few months ago.
While Clemson's Trevor Lawrence won't be available, New York could elect to draft Ohio State's Justin Fields or BYU's Zach Wilson with the No. 2 overall selection of this spring's draft, starting anew at the quarterback position. Even Darnold recognized that he could wear another uniform next year, admitting he's "not sure" what will happen this offseason.
Regardless of what may happen over the next several months—much of which is contingent on who Douglas hires as the Jets' next head coach—Darnold is staying positive. His teammates appear to be doing the same.
Under his Instagram post, plenty of fellow Jets players commented in support of their signal-caller.
"That's my QB!" wrote wide receiver Braxton Berrios.