Carolina Panthers Acquire Sam Darnold for a Package of Three Picks

Jan 3, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) looks to pass against the New England Patriots during the second quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

We are about three weeks away from the NFL Draft, and news continues to pop up that changes its trajectory. In the most recent headlines, the Carolina Panthers have acquired QB Sam Darnold from the New York Jets. Darnold’s tenure ends after just three years in New York, and they have gotten themselves a very modest return for the former third overall pick. Carolina sends a package including a 2021 sixth rounder along with second and fourth rounders in 2022. 

This means a couple things for this month’s draft. First of all, it seems to be confirmed that the Jets will be going with yet another quarterback at number two overall. While this had been in the rumor mill for a while, there were still some doubts, particularly from yours truly. 

You can read about my doubts in this article, but the gist of it surrounds the fact that Darnold was a third overall pick that only got three years to show what he could do. Meanwhile, his front office seemed determined to take nearly every valuable asset away from him. That said, a new quarterback (probably Zach Wilson) is destined for the Jets, and with a decent free agency period, we will see what this team can do moving forward. 

As for Carolina, the Panthers may be headed towards a quarterback battle between Darnold and Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater performed as advertised in 2020; he had a few standout games but nothing overwhelmingly spectacular. Although this trade changes their draft as well because they now seem out of the running to move up for a QB. They might be another team that could look to move down from No. 8 and acquire capital. With the expected return of Christian McCaffrey, the Panthers could be a team looking to make a big jump in 2021.