April 18, 2021

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Sam Darnold trade rumors: Price for Jets QB sits at a third-round pick, per report

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Florham Park is open for business, and there’s a sale on Sam Darnold.

The Jets, sitting at the No. 2 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, are presumably staying at No. 2 overall because that would be the organizationally wise thing to do. That means 2018 No. 3 overall pick Sam Darnold is an expendable part, and he might not be as costly as originally thought.

ESPN’s Kimberley A. Martin reports that the price for Sam Darnold sits around a third-round pick right now, with a “maybe” on third or even a conditional fourth rounder.

MORE: What the 49ers trade up means for the Jets

The price has dropped from Adam Schefter’s semi-speculative first-round pick that he set earlier in the offseason, and it makes sense why.

While Darnold’s option year is set at $18.8 million guaranteed, that’s still a fair amount of money for a quarterback who’s been one of the statistical worst in the NFL since entering in 2018. A team trading for him would only be on the hook for around $5 million in 2021, per OverTheCap.

Darnold’s market, too, appears to be diminishing: While rumors attached him to the Bears, Colts, 49ers and others earlier in the offseason, those teams have largely figured out their quarterback position heading into the draft. 

Recent reports indicate that the Panthers and Broncos could still check in on Darnold, but with the NFL Draft at the end of the month and both teams within trade-up striking distance to take a quarterback, they may wait on the draft to take a QB.

SI’s Albert Breer reported on Monday that the Steelers also could be involved in a Darnold deal, potentially to back up Ben Roethlisberger as he enters the presumable final year or two of his career.

So, as we head into the last bit of the pro days, expect the Jets and GM Joe Douglas to make the Darnold decision soon.

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