The Jets have parted ways with quarterback Sam Darnold, trading him to the Carolina Panthers for a sixth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft in addition to second-round and fourth-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, pending a physical.
“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. “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.”
The trade ends Darnold’s stay with the Green & White after three seasons. The Jets moved from the sixth overall pick to No. 3 in the 2018 NFL Draft in a trade with Indianapolis, sending three second-round picks to the Colts, so they could grab Darnold out of USC to be their new starter.
Darnold completed 239 of 414 passes (57.7%) his rookie season for 2,865 yards, 17 TDs an 15 INTs, all for a 77.6 passer rating on the year. He and his offense posted 76 points in back-to-back home wins over Denver and Indianapolis, and he led his first fourth-quarter comeback for a 27-23 victory at Buffalo in Game 13.
His second season showed improvements in key areas as he completed 273 of 441 passes (61.9%) for 3,024 yards, 19 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, and an 84.3 rating. He posted seven wins overall and six in the last eight games, triumphs that included four touchdown passes at Washington, home comeback wins over the Giants and Dolphins, and five one-score wins.
Last season his stat line included 217-of-364 passing (59.6%) for 2,208 yards, nine TDs, 11 INTs, and a 72.7 rating. He had a nifty 46-yard scramble for a touchdown — a record-long by a Jets QB — on Thursday Night Football against Denver and averaged 5.9 yards/carry. But Darnold and the Jets couldn’t get any winning traction until Games 14-15, at the Los Angeles Rams and home against Cleveland.
For his Jets career Darnold’s passing line reads 729-of-1,219 passing (59.8%) for 8,097 yards, 45 touchdowns and 39 interceptions and a 78.6 rating. He also ran for 417 yards and five touchdowns on 114 carries.