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Sam Darnold’s eye-opening reaction to Jets trade

Panthers, Sam Darnold, Jets

The Carolina Panthers worked swiftly and methodically in acquiring Sam Darnold from the New York Jets this offseason. After the Teddy Bridgewater experiment fizzled out after one season, the Panthers knew it was time to invest in another potential franchise altering quarterback. So, they threw a dart at the board in the direction of Darnold, who underwhelmed in his time with the Jets but varying factors outside of his control contributed to that. Now landing in Carolina, Darnold has finally spoken about the trade.

In an article from Darin Gantt of Panthers.com, Darnold detailed the difficult talks with his agent in accepting the reality that he may be traded.

“Those conversations were tough,” Darnold said. “I imagined I was going to be the franchise quarterback of the New York Jets for a long time. And once you realize that the team that drafted you is moving on, it stings a little bit.”

With the Jets holding the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the whispers became louder and louder that the franchise would move on from Darnold and select from the likes of Zach Wilson and Justin Fields with their first round pick. The first part of that domino has fallen, as Darnold is now in Carolina. And for Darnold, he’s thankful to be somewhere where he feels wanted while also realizing the culture with the Panthers is vastly different in his eyes.

“The culture that’s being set here is amazing,” Darnold said. “That’s probably the part that intrigues me the most about this…To go from being unwanted to being wanted is huge,” Darnold said. “Getting that news that you’re going to be traded, of a team saying, ‘Hey, we didn’t want you,” for whatever reason, is hard.”

The move could prove largely beneficial for Darnold’s career as he goes to a more stable spot with the Panthers and will have a far better proven core of weapons to work with. The change of scenery could be the exact shot in the arm the young quarterback needed.