Sam Darnold isn’t a Washington Football Team trade target despite rumors

New York Jets QB Sam Darnold. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
New York Jets QB Sam Darnold. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

The Washington Football Team made a move on Monday to add a quarterback to the fold. That passer was Ryan Fitzpatrick. The 38-year-old veteran will make Washington his home and his ninth NFL team during his career.

Is the move to acquire Fitzpatrick a sexy one? No, but Washington is only paying $12 million max for him. He was brought aboard to be a stopgap and will start unless Taylor Heinicke or Kyle Allen can unseat him.

That said, there have been rumors circling on Tuesday that despite the decision to sign Fitzpatrick, the Washington Football Team could still consider trading for Sam Darnold. This was reported by Connor Hughes of The Athletic.

This sent some shockwaves through the system of Washington fans. Why would they trade for Darnold after trading Fitzpatrick? They already have four quarterbacks on the roster and three that seem likely to make the 53-man roster barring injuries.

Well, Washington fans can breathe easy. ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported later in the day that there doesn’t appear to be a possibility of Washington making a trade for Darnold.

Skipping on Sam Darnold is good news for the Washington Football Team.

Darnold was an appealing young, buy-low candidate with upside, but it just doesn’t make sense for Washington to pursue him at this point. They already have a full quarterback room so sacrificing draft capital for a veteran who needs to be paid soon just wouldn’t fit this team’s timeline.

Darnold is entering the fourth year of his rookie contract, and the team would have to exercise a fifth-year option to keep him. That would cost somewhere around $25 million — if Darnold panned out.

Had the team not traded for Ryan Fitzpatrick, maybe they could’ve thought about picking up that non-guaranteed option and cutting Darnold if he fell flat. But even then, that wasn’t a guarantee.

With Fitzpatrick ready to serve as a stopgap, the team is better sticking with what they have and considering a quarterback prospect early in the draft to compete with Fitzpatrick, Heinicke, and Allen for a roster spot and playing time. Or they can just let their three-man unit duke it out to see if one of the two young guys can prove to have lasting starting potential.

Next. Five free agents WFT could consider on Day 2. dark

Hopefully, Russini ends up being right. Washington is better off spending its draft assets to upgrade the team with players on rookie contracts. Trading a significant Day 2 draft pick for a subpar quarterback before he hits free agency would be a mistake, so Washington is better off avoiding Darnold at this point.