Could Jets quarterback Sam Darnold be Russell Wilson's replacement in Seattle?
In this bold trade proposal, from ESPN's Bill Barnwell, New York sends Darnold to the Seahawks while Wilson packs his bags for Denver.
Here's the full four-team proposal:
Seahawks get: QB Sam Darnold (from Jets); edge Bradley Chubb, No. 9 overall pick in 2021, 2022 first-round pick (from Broncos)
Broncos get: QB Russell Wilson, 2022 third-round pick (from Seahawks); 2022 fourth-round pick (from Bears)
Jets get: WR Tim Patrick, 2023 fourth-round pick (from Broncos); 2023 third-round pick (conditional, from Seahawks)
Bears get: QB Drew Lock (from Broncos)
This isn't the first blockbuster proposal involving four teams that we've seen this offseason. Remember when Fox Sports' Nick Wright created a deal involving Deshaun Watson, Sam Darnold, Russell Wilson and Jimmy Garoppolo?
Anyway, Barnwell's proposed deal is a lot to take in, so let's go through it for each team, starting with the Jets.
New York would be departing with their franchise quarterback—surely a sign that they intend to draft a QB with the No. 2 overall pick next month—while getting a couple picks and a wideout in return.
As of now, we know close to 10 different teams have reached out to the Jets to demonstrate interest in trading for Darnold. You have to figure New York would get a decent return for the 23-year-old solely based upon the amount of teams bidding against each other.
Tim Patrick had a breakout year with the Broncos in 2020, hauling in 51 passes for a total of 742 receiving yards and six touchdowns. He would be a welcomed addition for New York's offense as they look to add weapons and build toward respectability.
The Jets will certainly look to receive a first-round pick for Darnold, but if that's not an option, this might be as much compensation as they can get.
Transitioning to the Seahawks, Seattle gets Darnold and a pair of first-round picks. If they deem Darnold a viable starting quarterback—despite his struggles over his first three seasons in the big leagues—then this could be looked at as a solid return as they move on from Wilson (who doesn't seem completely happy with the Seahawks).
Denver wasn't listed among Wilson's preferred trade destinations, but all bets are off in a trade proposal!
Meanwhile, Denver adds Wilson, looking to take the next step and pursue a bid to the postseason while the Bears add a young quarterback in Drew Lock that would likely be a better option than their internal assets at the position.
Here's Barnwell's full explanation on this wild proposal:
Denver exec John Elway's predilection for tall quarterbacks is old hat by now, but you have to think he would be willing to make an exception for Wilson. The Broncos would have to give up one of their best young defenders in Chubb, but this move unlocks what could be one of the NFL's great offenses given its depth at receiver and quietly impressive offensive line. After five years in the wilderness, the Broncos would suddenly be playoff contenders overnight.
With Chubb, the Seahawks get the star edge rusher they've sorely missed since Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett left. The former fifth overall pick had 7.5 sacks and 19 knockdowns after returning from a torn ACL last season. They also get the No. 9 pick in April's draft -- which could go toward help along the offensive line or at cornerback -- and a 2022 first-rounder.
By mixing in the Jets, Seattle also takes a shot on its quarterback of the future in Darnold, who is owed about $4.7 million in 2021 before his fifth-year option spikes in 2022. The Seahawks would probably need to negotiate an out to avoid fully guaranteeing that option as part of this deal, but Darnold would presumably be in position to rebuild his career with a pair of great receivers in Seattle, which could make such an arrangement agreeable.
Jets fans might not be thrilled with this return for Darnold, but New York's leverage is only going to decrease as we get closer to the draft. If it plans to take a quarterback with the No. 2 pick, it won't have much use for Darnold. This is a reasonable return. Patrick, a restricted free agent, averaged 9.4 yards per target a year ago and has the size to impress as a starting wideout if given the opportunity. The Jets would get a fourth-round pick from the Broncos and a conditional third-rounder from the Seahawks if Darnold takes a snap in a playoff game for Seattle in 2021 or 2022.
The Bears, meanwhile, sneak in to get some competition for Nick Foles. Missing out on Wilson will hurt, but they realistically need to try to find a cheaper quarterback solution as they win games with their defense. Lock's athleticism might appeal to the same organization that once placed Mitchell Trubisky on a pedestal, and he's due $2.6 million over the next two seasons.
MORE SAM DARNOLD TRADE PROPOSALS:
- Trade Proposal Sends Deshaun Watson to Jets For Package Headlined By Quinnen Williams
- 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?