Sam Darnold has been traded to the Carolina Panthers. The New York Jets dealt the 23-year-old quarterback on Monday for a sixth-round pick in the the 2021 NFL draft and second- and fourth-round picks in 2022.
Darnold started 38 games for the Jets since he was picked No. 3 overall in the the 2018 draft, completing 59.8% of his passes while throwing 45 touchdown passes and 39 interceptions. New York had a 13-25 record in games in which he started. His 40.1 Total QBR last season ranked last in the league. The Jets have the No. 2 overall pick in this month's draft and appear set to take a quarterback. ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay projected them to take BYU's Zach Wilson in his latest two-round mock draft. Wilson is McShay's second-ranked quarterback in the class, while draft analyst Mel Kiper has Ohio State's Justin Fields as his No. 2 quarterback.
We asked our panel of ESPN NFL experts to weigh in on the Jets-Panthers trade, what to make of Darnold's fit in Carolina and where Teddy Bridgewater -- who started for the Panthers in 2020 -- could land next:
What's your gut reaction to the trade?
Mike Clay, NFL analyst: It's a sensible move for the Jets, who will almost certainly select a quarterback with the No. 2 pick. It's also understandable for the Panthers. Darnold has not played well through three seasons, but he was in a poor situation and is only 23 years old. The Panthers wanted an upgrade at quarterback and now they have some hope.
Jeremy Fowler, national NFL writer: This feels like an uninspired move by Carolina, but it didn't have many options. The franchise made no secret that it wanted to trade for Matthew Stafford and Deshaun Watson, and getting the right QB at No. 8 overall was hardly a slam dunk. The Jets got about as much as they could from the deal. If Philly couldn't get a guaranteed first-rounder for Carson Wentz, the Jets weren't getting a first for Darnold, who has averaged below 46.0 in QBR in each of his three NFL seasons.