The New York Jets are open to, at the very least, discussing trades for quarterback Sam Darnold.
Jets general manager Joe Douglas revealed Wednesday he would answer the phone regarding possible overtures for the former USC star. Douglas would not definitively say the Jets have a certain plan in mind at the quarterback position, but they appear to be keeping all options open.
#Jets GM Joe Douglas tells reporters that he’ll answer calls pertaining to potentially trading QB Sam Darnold, though there is no firm decision on which way it’ll go. He also said he’s had “productive” talks with agent @ErikBurkhardt on S Marcus Maye, a tag candidate.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 3, 2021
The Jets have been pretty consistent in their commitment to staying flexible as to who might be under center in 2021.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network had previously reported New York would do its scouting and background work on all of the top quarterback prospects in the 2021 draft class prior to making a final decision regarding Darnold’s future.
From NFL Now: The #Jets will complete their draft QB evaluations before turning to QB Sam Darnold… which means buckle up. It'll be a while. pic.twitter.com/uOk1ZTCaco
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 22, 2021
Obviously, this leads the door open for the Jets to use the No. 2 overall selection on the likes of Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, Mac Jones or Trey Lance.
But preliminary discussions are not indicative of a trade being imminent.
The Jets could very well decide to keep Sam Darnold and see how he fares playing for new offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, instead using the No. 2 overall pick on a top wide receiver.
Darnold had made some improvements in his sophomore season, especially in the second half of the season. But he took a step back in 2020. Darnold was often under pressure, but also ranked towards the bottom of the league in terms of on-target throws.
Perhaps continued improvement in the trenches and the addition of a couple playmaking pass-catchers will help Darnold realize his potential. For now, the Jets are considering all their options, including trading the former No. 3 overall pick.