Winners and Losers: Sam Darnold Traded to Panthers

The Jets traded the No. 3 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft to the Panthers on Monday. Here are the winners and losers from the latest significant NFL transaction.

Sam Darnold Jets Broncos Black Jersey 2020
USA Today Sports

Oct 1, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) walks off of the field after his game against the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Sam Darnold Jets Broncos Black Jersey 2020

The quarterback carousel continued to bring change across the league on Monday afternoon. The Jets announced a trade with quarterback Sam Darnold going to the Panthers for multiple draft picks. The 23-year-old Darnold will get a fresh chance with two years left on his rookie deal and the Jets are now locked in to select a quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft.

The fallout goes beyond the Panthers, Jets, and Darnold, though. We have winners and losers from all angles from the deal. This is a trade that can affect multiple franchises for years to come. 

Winner: Sam Darnold

Sam Darnold Jets Bills Line of Scrimmage 2020

Loser: Teddy Bridgewater

Teddy Bridgeweater Panthers Rhule Brady 2020

Winner: Zach Wilson

Zach Wilson BYU Warmup 2019

Loser: Joe Brady and the Panthers Playmakers

Robby Anderson Panthers Vikings 2020

Winner: Quarterback-needy teams

Bill Belichick Patriots Ravens 2019

Loser: QB5 in the 2021 draft class

Trey Lance NDSU James Madison 2 2020

The ceiling for the fifth first-round quarterback remains as high as seven to Detroit as the draft order sits today. But the floor gave out with this trade. If Denver and New England pass on a rookie, QB5 may not hear their name called until Washington at No. 19. 

We can’t assume a trade-up will occur. Teams rarely act as desperately as fans and analysts project, which is why Lamar Jackson fell to 32nd in 2018. This ripple effect could be massive.

The positive for the quarterback is their chance of falling to a better overall situation and team is more likely. Going to a poorly run franchise is a death knell for all but the best quarterbacks. A mediocre quarterback can be propped up in the right situation and make championships possible.

However the short-term fall stings and it’s not as exciting to sit for a year or two behind a veteran. The odds of us seeing four or five rookie starters significantly dropped with Carolina out of the mix. 

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