98.5 The Sports Hub staff report
The New York Jets are currently fielding what has to be undoubtedly be considered one of the worst teams in NFL history.
They’re averaging just 14.9 points per game (last in the NFL), their minus-153 point differential is also the worst in the NFL, and by a staggering 57 points over the second-worst Jaguars. It has, predictably, played out to an 0-10 record, and with the 2020 Jets primed to match the 0-16 records of the ’08 Lions and ’17 Browns.
It’s a calculated play, however, with Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence considered the top prize of the 2021 NFL Draft. If that happens, Sam Darnold, whom the Jets drafted with the third overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, will almost certainly be on the outs.
New York’s starter for the last three seasons (though he’s missed four games this season), Darnold has compiled a 11-21 career record, with 39 touchdowns and 34 interceptions to his name. It’s not the most impressive resume, but it’s hard to shine on a team as dysfunctional as the Jets, and Darnold will certainly get a better second chance elsewhere.
Could that chance come in Foxborough with the Patriots?
It’s possible, as discussed by the MMQB’s Albert Breer on Sunday’s Patriots Preview with Marc Bertrand and Chris Gasper.
“I think the Patriots might have an interest in [Darnold],” Breer said. “I don’t think he was their favorite quarterback in 2018. I think if they had their choice of that quarterback group [in the 2018 NFL Draft], I think they would’ve taken Baker Mayfield. But he’s obviously still 23, and he has some NFL experience. I think there is a high ceiling there still. People forget he was pretty raw when he came in.
“I think the Patriots would have an interest if he were available.”
But it’s not that simple, especially when there’s a legit market for Darnold, as Breer believes.
“I just think the Jets are going to have to enough options where they won’t be forced to trade him in-division, if that makes sense,” Breer noted. “I think there’s gonna be enough of a market. I can tell you, like Denver for example, [Darnold] was their No. 1 quarterback in 2018. If things go the wrong way over the next six or seven weeks with Drew Lock, I wouldn’t be surprised if Denver made a play for Sam Darnold. The Niners, they’re another team that I think was pretty high on Darnold — at least certain key people in the building were — in 2018. So they’re another one I would put on that list.”
That list, to Breer, also includes the Bears, Steelers, and Colts.
“If you look at the list of teams, there’s enough there,” said Breer. “If you’re the Jets, it’s like, maybe you’d consider trading the guy in-division if you didn’t have any other options or if the Patriots totally blew you away. But if you have a real market for his services, I just don’t know why you’d help out the team down the street.”
Listen to Breer’s complete interview below.