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Darnold Stumps to Stay: “Best Days Ahead”


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https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/30630101/qb-sam-darnold-hopes-stay-new-york-jets-saying-my-best-days-ahead

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- As he prepares for what could be his final game with the New York Jets, Sam Darnold sounds like he knows where the organization can find its long-term answer at quarterback.

By sticking with him.

Despite his worst statistical season, Darnold said Thursday he hopes to remain with the Jets and believes he can develop into a franchise quarterback.

"I absolutely believe my best days are ahead," said Darnold, 23, who was drafted third overall in 2018

 
Darnold has fallen short of expectations -- 13-24 as the starter -- fueling speculation the Jets will trade him and choose his replacement with the second pick in the 2021 NFL draft.
 
Darnold has fallen short of expectations -- 13-24 as the starter -- fueling speculation the Jets will trade him and choose his replacement with the second pick in the 2021 NFL draft.
 
He insisted he's not approaching Sunday as a possible last game. The Jets (2-13), winners of two straight, face the New England Patriots (6-9) on the road.

"I'm a Jet now," Darnold said. "I know we all like to think of hypotheticals and what-ifs, but I'm a Jet right now. I love being here. I love the guys in the locker room. I love going to work every single day here."

Darnold said he hasn't talked to general manager Joe Douglas about his future. He has one year remaining on his rookie contract, with a fifth-year option for 2022 that must be exercised by early May.

What complicates his future is a lack of development, plus prime draft position. With the second pick, the Jets could take Ohio State's Justin Fields or BYU's Zach Wilson and flip Darnold for draft picks.

A lot will depend on who is coaching the team. Adam Gase is expected to be fired after the game, and his replacement will have a say in the quarterback decision.

"I think there are stretches where I didn't play nearly as well as I should've, and I'll be the first to admit it," Darnold said.

Darnold is the lowest-rated passer in the NFL (72.3), with only eight touchdown passes and nine interceptions, but he's riding a career-best streak of three straight games without a turnover.

"That's where Sam's growth has come the last couple of weeks," offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said. "He knows, 'Put the cape away. You don't need to be Superman.'"

Gase said the no-turnover streak is "a big stride. Would I love for him to have more three- and four-touchdown games? Absolutely, but that's not something we can necessarily control, right?"

Darnold's decision-making, accuracy and footwork need work, according to Gase, who said it's unfair to criticize him for the offensive struggles. Early in the season, Darnold was throwing to second- and third-string wide receivers because of injuries.

Gase admitted he has done a poor job of coaching the offense. At the same time, Darnold acknowledged he hasn't helped his coach.

Darnold called this the most challenging year of his football career, going all the way back to high school.

"Yeah, I would say so," said Darnold, who also dealt with a sprained throwing shoulder that sidelined him for four games. "I had a couple of rough seasons in high school, but this has definitely been a tough season."

 

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5 minutes ago, 32EBoozer said:

"I absolutely believe my best days are ahead," said Darnold, 23, who was drafted third overall in 2018

Sounds like he knows he's getting out of New York.

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6 minutes ago, 32EBoozer said:

Darnold is the lowest-rated passer in the NFL (72.3), with only eight touchdown passes and nine interceptions, but he's riding a career-best streak of three straight games without a turnover.

omg that's so sad.

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2 minutes ago, QB1 said:

if JD and the new coach want to roll with Sam I’m all in. 

This is my thinking. I’m all in on JD, if the coach he hires, with his input feel that using his picks elsewhere and sticking with Darnold to make the best team possible, I’m with it. Him rolling with Sam doesn’t have to mean he will be top 5 QB in the NFL, just has to mean he thinks keeping him and using assets elsewhere is the best route at this point to make the Jets a top 5 NFL team 

In JD we trust 

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I'm for new coach and new QB... If I'm JD, why would I saddle myself with a guy who i did not draft who in the best possible scenario- assuming he has a good 2021 season he will have to pay and extend and sign to a large contract? What if Darnold returns to his old self? What if he becomes injury prone? I mean the guy has missed a ton of time being sick or injured in each of his first three seasons. 

 

Darnold is too much of a risk for JD and  his new coach. Get that rookie QB and buy yourself and your new coach some time, with Darnold coming into year 4 you cannot have any more excuses, the fanbase will want not only wins but playoffs and they will kill JD for passing on a QB if Darnold fails. With a new QB you will look like a genius if he plays up to expectations. If Darnold plays well he will always be known as McCagnan's guy, that will always tarnish your legacy.

 

To me Darnold presents a big problem to JD. Its a bigger risk to stick with Darnold than to move on from Darnold. Thats a call JD will have to make but of I'm JD I'm pushing the button for a brand new QB for the NYJ, no one will kill the guy for doing that, on the other hand if he passes on QB and Darnold fails, he will get absolutely killed by the NY medianor.

 

Remember: He didnt draft Darnold and he didn't hire Gase nor had any kind of input into that coaching staff. None of whats transpired over the last 3 years can be attributed to JD. 

 

JD has a clean slate and if hes smart he will use it properly.

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