NFL Rumors: Bears Among Top Destinations For Sam Darnold If Jets Trade Him, Per 'New York Post'

As of this writing, there are many questions surrounding the New York Jets and their erstwhile starting quarterback, Sam Darnold, heading into the 2021 NFL season. Three years after being picked third overall in the 2018 draft, the young signal-caller has yet to blossom into a star in the professional ranks, which has led to rumors suggesting that the Jets might be ready to move on with someone new behind center. According to a recent report, there are multiple teams that could potentially show interest in Darnold, including the Chicago Bears, who appear ready to part ways with soon-to-be free agent Mitch Trubisky.

As explained on Tuesday by Brian Costello of the New York Post, the Jets will likely be monitoring the Bears in the coming days, considering how the team is reportedly considering trading for Carson Wentz. While Chicago has a chance of acquiring Wentz as Trubisky's replacement, it was suggested that the organization could consider Darnold as a trade target if another team makes a better offer for the erstwhile Philadelphia Eagles quarterback.

"The price for Darnold figures to be much less than what the Eagles are asking for Wentz (reportedly two first-round picks). Darnold is 23 years old and has had a poor supporting cast. Someone out there is going to believe they can get more out of him than the Jets have."
While it's possible that the Jets will be able to get a first-round pick in exchange for Darnold, Costello wrote that the Bears -- who will be picking 20th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft -- might offer a second-round selection instead.

Sam Darnold of the New York Jets has a conversation with then-head coach Adam Gase.
Getty Images | Julio Aguilar

In addition to the Bears, Costello mentioned the Indianapolis Colts, San Francisco 49ers, and Washington Football Team as three other teams that could make a move for Darnold. He pointed out that if the Colts -- who have also been linked to Wentz -- don't end up with the Eagles signal-caller, they could land the incoming fourth-year pro, allowing him to benefit from head coach Frank Reich's ability to develop young quarterbacks.

Likewise, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan was described as someone who could aid in the 23-year-old's improvement, while Washington's recent Comeback Player of the Year winner, Alex Smith, could possibly serve as a mentor for Darnold, similar to his role while playing alongside Patrick Mahomes in the Kansas City Chiefs.

As shown on his Pro Football Reference page, Darnold took a step back in the 2020 campaign, completing just 59.6 percent of his passes for 2,208 yards and finishing the year with nine touchdown passes and 11 interceptions as the Jets finished the year with a 2-14 record.