ASHBURN, Va. -- Sam Darnold has been traded by the New York Jets, who sit at the No. 2 slot in this month's NFL Draft.
Darnold, the former No. 3 overall pick from USC is now a member of the Carolina Panthers. Carolina traded a sixth-round pick this year, and a second plus a fourth next year.
Those are the facts. The trickle-down is about "smart money,'' "bad rumors'' and a "lesson learned.''
1) The smart money now is on the Jets taking Zach Wilson with the No. 2 overall pick. And this high-level dealing with QB's needs to be all about that very word: "smart.''
The Jets gave up a load of picks to the Colts to move up three spots in his draft for Darnold, who's value was severely inflated - we said then and now - because he was a USC QB with a pulse.
At one point, the Jets were reportedly asking for a first-round pick in return for Darnold.
There was desperation there, from the start. No smarts.
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2) Bad rumors. Last week, NFL draft analyst Tony Pauline, who specializes in the rumor mill, spun this yarn about Darnold.
“Obviously, the market is shrinking. It’s probably going to be a third-round type pick. The Colts are out; the 49ers are now out. Maybe you’re looking at Washington; maybe you’re looking at Chicago,” Pauline said via TheRedZone.org.
Nope. It's Carolina. It was never the WFT. Nope. It's not a third-round pick. It's a package.
Pauline was simply speculating - guessing. Not reporting. And he wasn't even close. As we reported earlier on this: There was no reason for the WFT to be in the Darnold trade 'sweepstakes.'
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Why? Among the reasons: Darnold hasn't been able to stay on the field in his three-year career, and durability for a QB should be a top priority.
Also, Darnold is entering the final year of his contract, and how would the WFT have been able to properly evaluate him, along with three or four other quarterbacks, in a limited preseason and offseason calendar?
If Washington was going to bring another QB into the building - why not spend a third-round pick (Washington has two) on a rookie who they really like?
3) A lesson learned. A trade for Darnold would have conflicted with the commitment made to Ryan Fitzpatrick to get the vet in the door. It would've also continued a bad trend that the WFT is avoiding regarding "desperation'' when it comes the QB position.
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Good luck to Darnold and Carolina. It's hard to imagine that this situation will work out. Better luck to Washington, which has Fitzpatrick and will try to get more ... but will, we bet, pursue that responsibility.