Analyzing the Darnold decision
Darnold is clearly a talented player. He was drafted by the Jets at third overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. He showed promise in his first two seasons, but regressed mightily in his third year under Adam Gase.
Now, Darnold is in limbo. He’s entering a contract year, and the Jets are almost certain to pick a quarterback with whom to supplant him at No. 2 overall.
On one hand, it doesn’t seem wise to trade for a quarterback entering a contract year, but as long as Fitzpatrick starts most of the games for the Washington Football Team, Darnold wouldn’t drive his value upward much.
Darnold is very much a salvage project, and he’ll have to answer for why he showed so little development with the Jets. But it’s fair to say that Adam Gase, as well as the dearth of roster talent year in and year out, helped to ruin Darnold. In Washington, the 23-year old Darnold would have a solid offensive line, a variety of weapons, and he’d have a mentor to learn from in Fitzpatrick.
If a third-round pick is what it’ll take to acquire Darnold, that’s not nearly as bad as a first-rounder. The Washington Football Team has two third-round picks this year, so they could feasibly send one to New York for a shot at rehabilitating a quarterback with franchise potential and giving him a change of scenery.