January 24, 2021
NFL Rumors: Sam Darnold Will Likely Return As Jets Starting Quarterback Next Season

The New York Jets were once in line to take Trevor Lawrence in the upcoming NFL draft, but with the No. 1 overall selection no longer in their grasp, one insider believes the team will bring Sam Darnold back as the starter next season.

The Jets are facing an uncertain future after bringing in Robert Saleh as head coach and playing their way out of the chance to take Lawrence by going on a late-season, two-game winning streak. The new coach has given some public praise of Darnold in his initial statements, but he has not indicated whether he would commit to the player next season.

NFL Network reporter Mike Garafolo believes that the team will ultimately bring back Darnold, who has shown flashes of strong play in his first three seasons but has also been plagued by injury and inconsistent play. He noted that the recent change in coaching has cast even more uncertainty over the situation, making it more likely that Darnold would get at least one more season to prove himself a franchise signal caller.

"I'd say Darnold's their guy in 2021," Garafolo said.

As The Spun noted, the Jets would still have a chance to take Ohio State's Justin Fields or BYU's Zach Wilson with the No. 2 overall selection if they want a new quarterback, but they could be better served in using the pick to bolster the talent around Darnold.

"One of the toughest aspects of evaluating Sam Darnold has to do with his supporting cast. The USC alum hasn't had much help on the offensive end during his three years in the Big Apple," the report noted.

"Rather than using the No. 2 pick on another quarterback, the Jets should look to add help for Darnold. New York could even trade down to acquire more assets and add depth in the process."
Garofolo added that the Jets may decide to go another way if Deshaun Watson should happen to be available, which may be increasingly likely. He reportedly wants out of Houston after falling out with the front office and becoming dismayed over the direction of the team, and many see New York as a potential destination.

As The Inquisitr reported, Watson has made it clear he prefers the Jets over other potential destinations due to their recent hiring of Saleh. Watson had reportedly pushed for the Texans to hire him for their recent head coach opening. The Miami Dolphins are also seen as a potential destination for the 25-year-old quarterback.