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How Jets will resolve Sam Darnold dilemma? Todd McShay has a hunch


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1. Sam's (Fan) Club: Listening to general manager Joe Douglas, it doesn't sound like he will be swayed by how Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields plays Monday night in the College Football Playoff championship. Douglas believes the bulk of the scouting is done; he sees this as the "final-piece-to-the-puzzle" stage. That, of course, won't stop fans and media from dissecting every pass and speculating whether Fields is worthy of the No. 2 pick in the 2021 NFL draft.

As the debate rages, one voice worth a listen is that of ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay, who has known Douglas for 25 years. Speaking on the "First Draft" podcast, McShay sounds pretty convinced Douglas won't draft a quarterback and will run it back with Sam Darnold in 2021.

"I know they like Sam. I think they would view Trevor as a potential upgrade, but I think they view Sam as good enough to build around. That's what they have to do. ... They can build an entire organization in the next two years of the draft [with four first-round picks], and I think that's exactly what Joe Douglas is going to do.""I know Joe Douglas. I obviously played with him in college. We have a good relationship," McShay said. "I know he grew up in the Ozzie Newsome organization with the Ravens. If it's not going to be Trevor Lawrence, it's going to be move down, if possible. If not, let's protect [Darnold] and get guys around the player we think can be our franchise.

If Douglas wants to trade down, the team to watch is the Atlanta Falcons (No. 4), who could be looking to draft a quarterback to replace the aging Matt Ryan. To swap places with the Falcons, the Jets would get Atlanta's second- and third-round picks, based on the trade-value chart. The haul could get bigger because many teams will disregard the chart when a quarterback is involved in the trade.

It would be a franchise-altering trade for the Jets, assuming they're right about Darnold, who finished as the NFL's lowest-rated passer. There's a huge component McShay doesn't mention: Darnold's contract. He has one year remaining, plus a fifth-year option (2022) that would cost about $25 million. The financial uncertainty beyond 2021 can't be discounted.

Me? I'm not sold on Fields, and I really want to see how he fares against Alabama.

2. Coaching update: The Jets are up to nine known candidates for their head-coaching vacancy. It's a pretty good mix. Let's break it down:

Personally, I'd put Saleh, Bieniemy and Daboll on a level above the rest, but they're in high demand. Bieniemy and Saleh are drawing interest from five of the six teams in the head-coaching market and, let's be honest, the Jets' job isn't as attractive as some others. The Jets and the Los Angeles Chargers reportedly are the only teams interested in Daboll, but know this: He went to high school with Chargers GM Tom Telesco. Plus, the Chargers have emerging star Justin Herbert at quarterback.

Those three coaches could be off the board for the Jets, who could end up with one of the others on their list -- or perhaps a college coach whose name hasn't surfaced.

3. Douglas & Lewis? Lewis is an interesting candidate. He shares a Baltimore Ravens connection with Douglas, albeit a brief overlap in the early 2000s. Some in league circles see them as a good fit because Douglas, as a relatively inexperienced GM, would benefit from working alongside such as a seasoned coach. In Cincinnati, where he made the playoffs in seven of 16 seasons, Lewis showed he could win with less, meaning an organization that didn't spend big money on free agents. The downside is his age (62). Does he really want to sign up for a long rebuild? Still, Lewis is a name to watch.

4. Frankly speaking: Few players, if any, have as much perspective as running back Frank Gore, who has played on five teams over 16 years. When he looks at the Jets, Gore sees a young team that needs veteran leaders, aka proven winners, to show the way.

"I think they should have one in every room," he said.

Gore preached patience, pointing to the 49ers of the late 2000s as an example of a team that developed slowly. He didn't experience a winning season until his seventh year (2011), when the 49ers went 13-3 in Jim Harbaugh's first season. That started a three-year run in the postseason, the culmination of good drafting and coaching. Gore said the Jets' rookie class is a good start, but they still need more players.

"It will take time," he said. "It don't take no one year."

5. Culture club: None of the players made available to the media at the end of the season were publicly critical of former coach Adam Gase, but it's obvious they felt something was missing. They talked about how the team needs to establish a culture and create an identity, and some of them shared that sentiment with Douglas in exit interviews.

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Disaster scenario

Darnold will be back. Its always been most logical scenario.

I support Douglas whichever way he goes.  But I’m also still a believer in Sam if we roll with him.  Either way I think we are in a good spot in terms of draft position/assets and cap space 

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8 minutes ago, heymangold said:

Imagine the Jets hiring Marvin Lewis and keeping Darnold? Jesus.

Joe Douglas does not want to hire anyone who is interested in forcing out Joe Douglas. Like what gase did to Mac. Say what you will about Marvin Lewis, he's going to focus on the football not on some power struggle 

A guy like Matt Campbell? Who knows 

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10 minutes ago, munchmemory said:

And my marching orders.  Not going to watch one more second of Darnold in  a Jet uniform.  I pray the story is wrong.

Anybody can see Darnold is merely a Southern California BS artist.  Message to JD, go ahead and pass on Fields or Trevor at the 2 slot and roll with Darnold,  but make sure you have a good real estate agent. 

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19 minutes ago, munchmemory said:

And my marching orders.  Not going to watch one more second of Darnold in  a Jet uniform.  I pray the story is wrong.

Bye.

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4 minutes ago, NYJ1 said:

I hope this report is accurate? All I can say is I've always thought Sammy was a franchise QB and last season hasn't changed my mind. 

A trade down with another team interested in taking Fields would be a windfall of badly needed picks. A trade with the Falcons in particular would allow the Jets to take Penei Sewell, a legitimate top tackle, a plug and play guy from day one. That would give the Jets probably the two best book ends in the league.

I would be fine with this.  You can build a very good team very quickly that way!!!!

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5 minutes ago, bitonti said:

Joe Douglas does not want to hire anyone who is interested in forcing out Joe Douglas. Like what gase did to Mac. Say what you will about Marvin Lewis, he's going to focus on the football not on some power struggle 

A guy like Matt Campbell? Who knows 

Hiring Marvin Lewis would be a minuscule improvement over hiring Adam Gase.  It’s not a good move.  Not like it matters but hiring ML would have the majority of Jets fans angry.

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Just now, oatmeal said:

My thing is Joe Douglas clearly said the new coach will have a say on QB situation 

God knows what's true or b/s these guys say in front of the media.   If JD passes on a QB?  He goes down as one of the biggest Jet busts/jerkoffs in our disastrous history.   

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Just now, munchmemory said:

God knows what's true or b/s these guys say in front of the media.   If JD passes on a QB?  He goes down as one of the biggest Jet busts/jerkoffs in our disastrous history.   

No

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4 minutes ago, munchmemory said:

If this travesty actually happens, I'll send you my Jet gear.   Some of it might be over 50 years old, so apologies in advance.

Do you seriously believe Douglas would keep a QB, and a new coach would agree to retain a QB, who people on this board tbinks sucks. If they do decide that, they're has to be a reason. And a sound one. Douglas was a scout for the Ravens for 14 years. He didn't get the Jet job coming out of the restaurant industry 

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