Despite Lawrence Hype, Darnold Could Be Back Next Season

Sam Darnold is listed as questionable with his shoulder injury for Sunday’s game against Miami at MetLife.

However, he has been more active off the field this week.

The third-year quarterback has been rumored to be at the top of the shopping list of Philadelphia Denver, New England, Denver, Chicago and Pittsburgh.

The prevailing thought of Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence being chosen with the first pick of the 2021 draft continues to grow with each Jets’ loss. The Lawrence pick looms as safe right now as Joe Biden being the president in January.

But what happens if Jets’ GM Joe Douglas is playing coy with us all along? Suppose he isn’t going to choose Lawrence?

Yes, I believe I am still sane.

Darnold stays, and Douglas drafts an offensive lineman, defensive lineman or a cornerback, all three top priorities.

Or Douglas could dangle the top pick and trade down, picking up some additional picks to his nine already –five in the first three rounds with an extra first-rounder from Seattle.

If he does, Douglas may unseat Bill De Blasio as the most unpopular and dumbest man in the eyes of Jets’ fans.

Trade away the next franchise quarterback, a positively can’t-miss prospect? Jets’ fans may never recover.

It is a longshot, but there is some merit to it.

Douglas has shown that he will undergo a rebuild, and the remainder of this season is an audition.

In recent games, he had found a receiving corps with the emergence of rookie Denzel Mims along with Brett Perriman and Jamison Crowder and some stays on the offensive line with top pick Mekhi Becton, Connor McGovern, and Greg Van Roten.

Tackle Quinnen Williams and safety Ashtyn Davis will be cornerstones for the defense.

As for Darnold, he has shown potential as well his propensity to throw the bad pass. He already has missed 10 games, and has been mired in his worst season this year due in part to the talent around him.

Douglas has stated that Darnold is his quarterback. If he does play Sunday against the Dolphins and the rest of the way, Douglas could do the perceived unthinkable, keeping Darnold and drafting for their needs.

If Darnold is shelved for the rest of the season, he’ll likely have a new home and Lawrence will be a Jet.

Miami (6-4) comes into Sunday’s game with playoff aspirations still in play and captivating rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

Even though the 0-10 Jets appear to have little at stake, a first step toward their future hangs in the balance.

Photo by Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire

About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

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