The Sam Darnold era in New York is officially over.
New York has dealt their beleaguered starting quarterback to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a sixth-round pick in 2021 along with a second- and fourth-round picks in 2022, as first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The Jets confirmed the trade with a post on social media moments later.
"I want to publicly acknowledge the commitment, dedication, and professionalism Sam displayed while with the Jets. He is a tough-minded, talented football player whose NFL story has not been written yet," said Jets GM Joe Douglas in a statement released by New York. "While all these things are true, this move is in the short- and long-term best interests for both this team and him. We thank Sam for all of his work on behalf of this organization and wish him well as he continues his career."
This trade comes after months of speculation regarding Darnold's future in green and white. The former third-overall selection out of USC has struggled mightily in his first three seasons with the Jets, regressing to new lows with New York in 2020.
Now, Douglas and new head coach Robert Saleh add three additional picks to their surplus of draft capital, great value for a 23-year-old quarterback that will now assume the starting duties in Carolina.
Parting ways with Darnold also—in all likelihood—confirms that the Jets will use the No. 2 pick in this month's NFL draft to select a quarterback. All signs pointed to New York taking BYU star Zach Wilson after New York's brass was in attendance for his pro day just days ago. Seems like the organization's internal evaluations pointed toward a quarterback from this year's draft class being a better long-term option under center.
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