Jets trade QB Sam Darnold to Panthers for three draft picks

As had been expected, the Sam Darnold era with the New York Jets is over. 

The Jets confirmed on Monday that they’ve traded the third selection of the 2018 NFL Draft to the Carolina Panthers for three draft picks: 

Carolina welcomed the quarterback to town by paying homage to a humorous meme featuring the 23-year-old: 

According to ESPN stats, Darnold finished his third and final season with Gang Green dead last in the NFL among eligible players with a 72.7 passer rating and 40.1 total QBR. On multiple occasions through the offseason, new Jets head coach Robert Saleh refused to commit to Darnold as his starter, and it was presumed before Monday’s development the Jets would use the second overall pick of the upcoming draft to acquire Darnold’s replacement. 

Four different CBS Sports analysts are currently predicting the Jets will draft BYU Cougars quarterback Zach Wilson. 

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport added that the Panthers will likely look to trade quarterback Teddy Bridgewater or ask him to adjust his contract

Carolina must make a decision on the fifth-year option attached to Darnold’s contract by May 3. He would earn $18.8 million, fully guaranteed, for 2022 under that option. 

ESPN’s Rich Cimini explained that the Jets get $4.8 million in salary-cap relief for 2021 but will endure a $5 million “dead money” hit following the trade. Gang Green was previously linked with wantaway Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is now facing at least 22 lawsuits regarding accusations of sexual assault and misconduct. It’s widely believed no team will actively pursue Watson amid the allegations. 

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