The winless New York Jets just have to consider the opposing quarterback Sunday to observe how another team managed a franchise-altering conclusion of this type they might confront ahead of the 2021 NFL draft.
The Jets (0-4) are in the running for the No. 1 overall selection, which would signify the opportunity to draft Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. However, also they have the 2018 No. 3 overall selection Sam Darnold, that had been in the same draft class since Arizona Cardinals first-round pick Josh Rosen.
1 year later trading up from the first round to pick Rosen, the Cardinals — that play with the Jets in New York on Sunday — utilized the No. 1 overall choice in 2019 on Kyler Murray and traded Rosen into the Miami Dolphins for the moment – and also fifth-round picks.
A few NFL executives surveyed this week advised ESPN they consider the Jets would get similar compensation in a transaction for Darnold should they end together with the No. 1 overall pick and choose that is the path they wish to pursue.
“I don’t think they would find a [first-round pick] to get Sam, but also, it depends what he places on tape the remainder of the year,” one overall director told ESPN. “The dilemma is, [Darnold] is fighting with his precision, his durability — so they are in a difficult place. And when everybody knows the Jets are taking a quarterback, they then will not get as much back.”
Another GM also called the Jets would not return a first-round choice for Darnold.
“The high-water mark could be a [second-round choice ] because of him,” one GM said this weekend. “I believe that they could find a [fourth-round choice ] for him but when he ended favorably, they may find a two for him. In school, he had been a dollar machine. From the NFL, he’s been a dollar machine. I simply don’t believe that he has the credentials to go to get a 1”
A third GM cautioned a selection was possible, including, “If you still feel the man is a top-pick-caliber QB, and think about his plight, you do not shut the door on it.”
However, if the Jets were to need a first-round choice for Darnold, it might take the ideal formulation and blend to make it function: a quarterback-needy group out of position to pick among those top-rated quarterbacks from the 2021 draft, one which considers in Darnold and had a top-quality on him coming from USC.
Whichever staff that may opt to engage in a Darnold trade would need to be inclined to pick up his fifth-year alternative for approximately $24 million without ever having noticed his clinic, only one more complication into an offer.
Darnold won’t play Sunday against the Cardinals due to a shoulder injury, meaning veteran Joe Flacco will begin under center for the Jets. It marks the third time in Darnold’s brief career he has missed some time.
The Jets are 0-6 if Darnold does not begin over the previous 3 seasons, averaging 10.9 fewer points per match.