Stick with Sam? Not quite.
New Jets wideout Corey Davis had his introductory Zoom conference on Tuesday, during which he made waves by saying that he believes the Jets may be turning to Sam Darnold once again as starting quarterback come the 2021 season.
There’s a catch, though: This is the NFL, where semantics matter probably more than they do while standing around the water cooler. There’s no issue with Davis believing that Darnold is the Jets starting quarterback right now, on March 24, 2021. That’s a fact.
While the New York media is running with Davis saying he believes that Darnold will be the Jets starting quarterback come September (they have to sell newspapers, after all), there’s a critical line from Davis’ Zoom call that some seem to be belligerently, willfully, invitingly ignoring:
“Whichever direction they decide to go, it’s on me to make sure that I’m ready,’’ Davis said. “I’m ready to catch passes from whomever.’’
Corey Davis on Jets QB situation:
“This situation, it is what it is. I’m coming in with my understanding that Sam is the guy….whichever direction they decide to go it’s on me to be ready.”#takeflight
— jamie stuart (@N12jamiestuart) March 23, 2021
Seems like an important thing to mention.
That last bit is especially important, considering that the Jets have been very careful to tiptoe around the Darnold question this offseason, from GM Joe Douglas to new head coach Robert Saleh to the MetLife Stadium beer vendors. Oh, and Davis also mentioned that Darnold hadn’t reached out to him yet, which is also very telling.
The Jets have reportedly received calls on Darnold this offseason and were also supposedly in the mix for Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson before the sexual assault allegations surfaced, meaning the team isn’t sold on Darnold at minimum.
There are certain irrefutable facts surrounding the Darnold situation that are tabloid-quote proof and situationally agnostic:
- New York is currently sitting with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, where at least one of Zach Wilson or Justin Fields await;
- Darnold was inherited by Douglas — Douglas was hired in 2019, while Darnold was drafted the year before;
- The fourth-year passer has been a replacement-level starter who has shown moments of potential, but not much else.
Darnold has thrown 45 touchdowns to 39 interceptions in his short, three-year career, including a dreadful nine-touchdown, 11-interception season in 2020 that cast major doubt on whether the team is going to move forward with him at quarterback — especially so when Darnold’s fifth-year option is looming.
While Davis likely signed with the Jets based on the money (he’s getting $30 million guaranteed) and the influence of Saleh more than anything else, the quarterback question will be answered soon enough.
With the NFL Draft just over a month away, expect a resolution one way or another.