Jets GM says he’ll ‘answer the call’ if trade offers come for Sam Darnold

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold prepares to pass
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold passes during a win over the Rams on Dec. 20.
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

It appears the New York Jets will be driving a hard bargain if any teams come calling for quarterback Sam Darnold.

Following months of speculation about Darnold’s future in New York being in jeopardy, Jets general manager Joe Douglas said he’d be willing to listen to trade offers for the 2018 No. 3 overall draft pick.

“I will answer the call if it’s made,” Douglas said during a video call with reporters Wednesday. “As it pertains to Sam, Sam’s, we think, a dynamic player in this league with unbelievable talent and who really, really has a chance to really hit his outstanding potential moving forward.”


Despite all the praise Douglas might have for Darnold, it’s clear the Jets can see a future without their one-time franchise quarterback as they try to trek out of the quagmire of a 2-14 season. The Jets also are expecting a decent-sized bounty in exchange for Darnold as he enters the final year of his rookie contract. The Jets have until May 3 to decide whether they’ll exercise his pricey fifth-year option.

Sean McVay is acutely aware of the Rams’ shortcomings. With Jared Goff and Todd Gurley gone, it’s up to the Rams coach to correct the team’s direction.

Feb. 26, 2021

“Our stance on Sam hasn’t changed,” Douglas said. “He’s an extremely talented player and he’s very smart, very tough. And we have no doubt that Sam is going to achieve his outstanding potential. Obviously, we’re in the process of getting as much information as we can leading up through free agency and the draft.”

At 23, Darnold does present plenty of upside for teams in need of a quarterback. But will anybody be ringing Douglas’ cellphone? The former USC standout has been plagued by inconsistency and injuries. Former Jets coach Adam Gase couldn’t help Darnold unlock his potential.

While many teams are on hunt for a quarterback, it appears the Jets aren’t willing to give up their No. 2 overall pick as part of any potential Darnold trade package.

“Ultimately, for us to get to where the great teams are, the most consistent teams are, you do that through the draft,” Douglas said when asked his philosophy on dealing picks for a star player. “For us to really be that team that’s consistently competing for Super Bowls, we have to hit on our draft picks.”