February 18, 2021
NFL Rumors: Sam Darnold Mentioned As Potential Offseason Target For Washington Football Team
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold passes the ball.
Gettyimages | Elsa
Football

The past few months have seen New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold become the subject of multiple rumors suggesting he won't be returning to the team for a fourth season after getting picked third overall in the 2018 draft. A number of rival teams have been mentioned as potential suitors, and as a new report suggests, one of those organizations could be the Washington Football Team, a club whose issues behind center for most of the 2020 season were well-documented.

Coaches Have Reportedly Suggested Darnold As Trade Target For WFT
Sam Darnold of the New York Jets drops back to pass the ball.
Gettyimages | Bobby Ellis

As quoted by Bleacher Report on Wednesday,  ESPN's John Keim wrote in a recent subscriber-only article that "multiple" NFL coaches have recommended Darnold as a potential solution to Washington's problems at quarterback.

"He's young, talented, can move, and the hope would be his issues stemmed as much from the Jets situation as anything," Keim wrote.

Bleacher Report also noted that recently hired Jets head coach Robert Saleh has been cagey when discussing Darnold's future in New York. During his introductory press conference, he emphasized many of the quarterback's strengths but neither confirmed nor denied whether he may be traded during the 2021 offseason.

Washington Started Four Different Quarterbacks In 2020
Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith scrambles with the ball during a game against the Los Angeles Rams.
Gettyimages | Greg Fiume

Washington notably qualified for the postseason in 2020 despite the fact they started four different quarterbacks across 16 regular-season games. These included second-year man Dwayne Haskins, who was demoted earlier in the season in favor of Kyle Allen. Veteran Alex Smith then took over after Allen suffered a season-ending leg injury.

Although Haskins was briefly reinstated as Washington's No. 1 signal-caller when Smith got hurt, journeyman Taylor Heinicke took over in Week 16 and came close to leading the club to an upset over the eventual Super Bowl LV champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the Wild Card round, as noted by NBC Sports' Pro Football Talk.

Darnold Has Frequently Struggled During His Time In New York
Sam Darnold of the New York Jets is pursued by a New England Patriots player.
Gettyimages | Adam Glanzman

As noted by Bleacher Report, Darnold's stint with the Jets has been a rocky one so far, though the outlet stressed that this was mostly because he didn't have enough help on offense during his three seasons with the organization.

So far, Darnold has tallied a total of 8,097 passing yards with 45 touchdowns and 39 interceptions in 38 career starts.  However, that hasn't stopped other clubs from making inquiries about his availability, as at least five teams have reportedly done so as of Monday.

Which Other Teams Could Potentially Make A Deal For Darnold?
Sam Darnold of the New York Jets looks on during a game.
Gettyimages | Emilee Chinn

Although it wasn't mentioned which specific organizations have supposedly inquired about Darnold, pundits have offered various suggestions on where he might end up if the Jets decide to trade him.

Earlier this week, Fansided blog The Jets Press chimed in on the matter, likewise recommending Washington but also bringing up the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers as possible destinations for the 23-year-old signal-caller. Both clubs also face uncertainty at the quarterback position, with the Saints' Drew Brees expected to announce his retirement soon and the Panthers' Teddy Bridgewater facing an uncertain future as the team's starter.