Jets Deal Sam Darnold to Carolina

So, uh, congratulations Panthers fans? The Jets are dealing Sam Darnold to the Panthers for two 2022 picks (second and fourth rounds) and a 2021 sixth-round pick. Now's the time to truly find out the value of a coaching staff and the surrounding parts. Assuming that Darnold beats out Teddy Bridgewater for the starting job, he now gets better receivers than he had with the Jets. He gets a better running game. And most importantly, he gets Joe Brady as his offensive coordinator. We saw what Brady did with LSU in 2019. But Darnold has never had a passing DYAR above replacement level and he's gotten worse with each successive season. In the meantime, the Jets are now likely to be taking Zach Wilson from BYU with the second overall selection and he'll become their new starting quarterback.

UPDATE: Further reports state that Carolina will pick up Darnold's fifth-year option and pay him $18.9 million for 2022. He's their quarterback for the next two years. They clearly believe that the Jets situation and Adam Gase were holding him back.

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90 comments, Last at 09 Apr 2021, 11:49am

1 Congrats to the Jets and Joe…

Congrats to the Jets and Joe Douglas. If they had gotten just a 2022 second-rounder, I would have said that was an excellent return for an asset that will likely turn out to be worthless.

2 I get that Darnold is still…

I get that Darnold is still a blank slate to some extent at this point, but even a 2nd for him feels like an overpay. The fact that they got three picks out of it is pretty stunning.  I am firmly in the camp that if a QB has looked like garbage for three years, he is basically unlikely to be any good even if the circumstances were improved. 

For the Panthers, I am ok with this move as an insurance policy in case they can't get a QB they like to fall to them. However, if the plan is to have Darnold be your qb of the future, then I hate this move. 


4 I'll wait for our resident…

I'll wait for our resident Jet fan to chip in, but I don't think he looked like garbage all the time. And having seen the hindering effect Gase (and others, to be fair) had on Tannehill, I'm willing to keep an open mind.

Not open enough to send three picks, however. That seems like too much.

6 I've watched every snap as a…

I've watched every snap as a Jets fan.  Darnold makes the occasional "wow" plays but he is infuriatingly inconsistent in his accuracy, does not see the field well from the pocket, and he's gotten worse over time.  He's in a good spot now, and I truly hope he can put it together.  Seems like a good guy.  But I am ecstatic about the picks the Jets got in return.

7 To take the Gase point…

To take the Gase point seriously, Tanny wasn't terrible under Gase. He was actually better under Gase than he had been under Joe Philbin.

I get that Gase being an awful head coach is suggestive that he's the QB killer, but I am not sure evidence for that exists. Another likely explanation is that Tenessee has way better offensive talent than the Jets or Dolphins, with a good offensive line, a great run game, and some really good set of receivers. In that sense, its a bit like Alex Smith surging in efficiency once he had Tyreke Hill and Travis Kelce.

If Darnold had been just vanilla bad, lets say something like Daniel Jones say, I'd be more optimistic about this move. But he's been among the worst qbs all three years. Just not that many examples of QBs who turned it around.

11 Plus he's clearly not…

Plus he's clearly not stepping into a situation where he has players as dynamic as Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce; sure, McCaffery's great, but D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson are . . . fine?  I mean, they're not awful, but that's a far from transcendent set of skill position players in Carolina.

18 Tanny was never actually…

Tanny was never actually terrible in Miami, he just wasn't that good, either. But no, to your point, Gase didn't ruin him or anything. He simply didn't help him achieve his potential. True that the talent in TEN helps, but the offensive system has also been a major help for him. The numbers said for years Tanny excelled at play-action, for instance, and no coach in Miami emphasized it. All Gase had Tanny do was throw bubble-screens all day and all night. And the talent was certainly not inferior to the talent Fitz had when he did well the last two years there.

22 I guess the overall point…

I guess the overall point being made here is that Gase is probably on a net either neutral or a slightly negative influence on his QBs. That means Darnold gets the minor benefit, putting him from unplayable to slightly less unplayable. 

To really make the Darnold quality qb a thing is to give him a steep supporting cast grading curve. There's some merit to this. I thought his combination of line and receivers was probably the worst in football. But then again, you can upgrade all of that and I suspect he's still not going to look all that different from Bridgewater in the best case scenario.

Its as long an odds play as it gets. 

66 Yeah it's not like they were…

Yeah it's not like they were in the position the Colts were this offseason where they had no quarterback on the roster who'd ever started a game in the NFL. Bridgewater is a legit NFL starter, he's just not a top starter...he'll probably be 15-25 in the rankings any given season. For this to make sense you'd have to think there's a good chance not just that Darnold can get to legit NFL starter quality, but to something like top 10 starter quality. And while anything is possible, it's hard to think there's a good chance of that. 

14 Gase the scapegoat

He wasn't his HC Darnolds rookie year when he was bad then though. They thought it was the HC so they replaced him with an offensive one. Still bad. Multiple HCs. Might just be Darnold. 

And Tannehill was actually (above, or at least) average in multiple categories under Gase. Not that a team should be shooting for a 10 game stint of Tannehill level. 

3 I cannot imagine a situation…

I cannot imagine a situation in which paying a 2nd round pick for Sam Darnold is a smart move, outside of a situation in which you're assuming Darnold can improve as much post-Gase as Tannehill did.

5 Either there was a bidding…

Either there was a bidding war for Darnold driving up the price, or the Panthers were bidding against themselves and willingly overpaid for no reason. Jimmy G he ain't, and I bet the Panthers will miss having the picks. Maybe Robby Anderson knows something we don't.

33 Just looking at value,…

Just looking at value, period, I mean, it's a future second. It's not that huge a deal, and they're likely to get a decent pick back as a compensatory if he doesn't work out and hits free agency. Even backup QB payscale is high enough for that. And I'm betting they're counting on Bridgewater getting some of that back as well, although I think that's wishful thinking on their part - if they had done this earlier in the year, sure. This late? No idea who their trade partner would be. That's my biggest issue - timing. There's no reason this entire trade couldn't've been done like, practically a month ago.

I still would've declined the 5th year option and picked up a QB in the draft and treated Darnold as essentially a one-year tryout. Honestly it's not like Darnold's going to perform so well he's going to command a $20M+/yr contract. 

That being said, if it were me I would've just kept Bridgewater, period. But trading for Darnold this far into free agency's just weird.

56 I think there's some teams…

I think there's some teams picking in the back half of the draft that might have at least a passing interest in Bridgewater.  After pick 15, there is slim chance you will get one of the top 5 QBs without a trade up in the draft eg. WFT coaching staff has some history with Teddy (Scott Turner), and might prefer him going forward to an aging Fitzpatrick.  New Orleans also has history with him, and no definite answers at QB.  Chicago, Pittsburgh have old/1 yr-contract QBs as well.  Tampa might want a better backup/heir apparent to Brady.  I wouldn't expect a huge return, but there might be some interest there.

57 Teddy is also a QB that by…

Teddy is also a QB that by his style of play is going to look better on a good team the way Fitz is going to look better on a bad team. I guess if you are on a win now timetable, you could do a lot worse than Teddy. 


58 Teams in the back half of…

Teams in the back half of the draft won't be able to pick up Bridgewater on his current contract.

Regardless, though, the market for Bridgewater's clearly smaller than it was previously. I mean, they were probably trying to trade him prior to this, so the answer's probably "there is no market for Bridgewater." But it still raises the question of why the heck you bother trading for Darnold this late.

59 I can only assume that this…

I can only assume that this move is made in response to the 49ers. A total guess here is that they looked at the draft order and said - assuming no trades - Miami and Cincy are unlikely take QBs. That leaves Atl, Det, and Philly who could take one. Assuming at least one and maybe two of those teams take a qb, that leaves at least one of the qbs left for the Panthers at 8. Now that the 49ers are definitely taking a QB, there is a chance that 0 qbs are available to the Panthers at 8. 


That's my best guess. 

73 I don't think they're taking…

I don't think they're taking a QB, because if they were there would be absolutely no point to this trade. What they're committing to financially and pick-wise signals they're rolling the dice with Darnold, at least this year.

74 I was thinking of the timing…

I was thinking of the timing of it all. Maybe they needed the Jets to fall in love with Zach Wilson first or maybe this is how long it took to negotiate the price. 

But my best guess was that they wanted a specific qb and they think he won't be there. 

75 Oh, wait, there's a much…

Oh, wait, there's a much more obvious conclusion along those same lines: the Panthers lost a bidding war with the 49ers for the #3 pick. Duh. Totally didn't think of that before.

Yeah, that's gotta be what happened. Also explains the slightly high price for both Darnold and for the #3 pick: SF likely had to beat out the Panthers (which is a much easier trade for Miami), and then when it was obvious the Jets wouldn't part with #2, they pried Darnold loose. (Darnold's price being a bit high is illogical, but consistent with human behavior - if you lose out on option #1, overpaying for option #2 is pretty common because you already considered those resources lost). 

8 I have to keep this short…

I have to keep this short since I am at work.  Definitely love that Douglas got three picks and at least a 2nd for Darnold; there was no reason to trade him unless the Jets got a 2nd, since a compensatory pick could have been a third.  I totally expect Darnold to go off in Carolina, since he has better teammates and better coaching, but also just because that's what happens with the Jets.  If he does do well next year, he will be the 4th QB from that draft to have a break out year in a row: Mayfield (rookie of the year), Lamar Jackson (MVP), Josh Allen (MVP-level year), Darnold (?).  The Jets must sign someone now so they do not force the rookie into a starting role, the way the team did that to Sanchez, Geno Smith and then Darnold.  That is my one issue with this from a Jets perspective.

From a Panthers perspective,  it seems like an overpay.  I'm not sure why they couldn't have gotten a conditional 2nd instead of a real 2nd.  Also, they could have Fields, Lance or Mac Jones available at 8, in fact they probably will.  It's probably not as big an overpay as Seattle's trade for Jamal Adams, but perhaps trading with Joe Douglas isn't a good idea.

13 Panthers might now be…

Panthers might now be waiting for someone who wants to jump ahead of the Broncos if Fields falls that far. They could easily recoup a second and more there, or just leverage something from the Broncos and get the same non-QB player a little cheaper one spot down. Broncos have been conspicuously filling non QB roster gaps, so I’d be surprised if they didn’t take a QB who falls to them, whether they want to trade up I don’t know, but if it is only 1 spot then it is essentially a pure profit trade to the Panthers if the Broncos get convinced someone else is interested. 

The draft could be quite interesting this year.

16 The comp 3rds are at the end of the round

A future 3rd (like the actual 2nd given up) would be above higher (good way) than that. 

And Darnold, Geno and Sanchez weren't bad because they started early. Signing anything more than a min QB (in even UDFA) is pointless, when all they are is a sacrifice. Burrow didn't need Daltons hand holding to be successful nor will the lack of it be why he fails. 

24 Perhaps if Burrow had not…

Perhaps if Burrow had not started at the beginning of the year he would have been able to last an entire year without getting hurt.  While Sanchez was going to be bad anyway, both Geno and Darnold have performed much worse than their Qbase projection.  Every Jets quarterback who has been decent to good has waited to start since Richard Todd, and Todd only had one good year after years of stinking, and then tanked in the playoffs the next year.

At the moment the only quarterback the Jets have on the roster is James Morgan, a guy they drafted from Florida International last year.  Not signing someone like Mullens or whoever would be malfeasance.

25 So

How is sitting going to mean he'd last longer? Herbert lasted longer (behind a worse OL) because he wasn't thrown in until...week 2?

Richard Todd, Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith, Sam Darnold have nothing to do with the new QB or even the regime. is not signing career backup Mullens malfeasance? What's he gonna do? Besides cost more and keep the seat warm? Both have no future in the league (or at least the Jets) so why does it matter what one is getting sacrificed? Is Mike White better for the first...week? Or whatever arbitrary waiting period you desire? Does it REALLY matter who's out there? 

You know what, give me the long version. I'd love to hear it. 

28 Are you here to talk about…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

Are you here to discuss football, or are you here to impose your opinion on others? You talk down to people a lot and that's shitty

30 That's talking down?

Of all the suspect things that are/arent said, this is what people police. Tone.

Asking too many questions I guess is a problem. I legit want to hear the long version too.

36 Ok

idk where I personally attacked someone but I was just responding with questions which I'm still trying to figure out how it's "talking down." If you don't believe my point, provide a counter one is all I'm saying

37 Last night I was going to…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

Last night I was going to give you a really angry response, but I just stopped because I realized that had more to do with Gonzaga getting creamed and my wife being annoyed about the uncleanliness of our apartment.  While I appreciate Aaron and everyone getting defensive on my behalf, I have to say that New is usually just very sure of his/her beliefs.  I also have to admit my first response to a post by New a while ago was rather snide, and I regret that.  As far as the merit to letting a rookie sit on the bench, I think that allows the rookie QB to watch for at least a week to see what real NFL pressure and coverage is like.  The preseason is usually watered down.  Of course Herbert didn't get hurt last year because he wasn't stuck behind the Bengals' line, which wasn't entirely the fault of the Bengals (they did draft/sign some linemen, but injuries struck).  I also was going to list every QB that started their first game and worked out for the team that drafted them, but it was actually longer than just Russell Wilson and Peyton Manning; the list of guys who didn't start right away and worked out great is longer though (Marino, Rothlisberger, Montana, etc).

38 I'm sorry if I came off crappy

I'm just very dubious of rookies sitting for the sake of sitting. This is coming from a Packers fan. Is Rodgers Rodgers because he sat? Sure, partly. But did he need to sit 3 years to be this good or was he always this talented, hence the debate to go #1 with Alex Smith at the time, and we more or less "wasted" some of his cheaper years (wasting careers is also another convo for another time)? 

I'll agree on a week. I might even agree up until the bye like Miami did with Tua (even though many were lamenting throwing him to Aaron Donald). But I firmly believe it's not just sitting that makes them better. At some point they have to get that playing experience to truly know what to do next in the development in the league. The bench, obviously, just doesn't help with that. Even when Rodgers finally started he didn't light the world on fire. It was with that game experience that he learned and grew. Even Mahomes didn't look that special in his first game in 2017 (0 TDs, 1 INTs) but combine that with what they saw in practice and also what they (and we) saw in college and they moved on from Smith. Maybe Mahomes plays like that in week 2 of 2017 and then balls out the rest of the season and they go further in the playoffs that season than they did with Smith. 

But I also don't believe it matters whether it's taking over for Tyrod Taylor (Herbert had a worse OL than Burrow though, but the weapons that could get open quicker are why he was more efficient), Ryan Finley, Ryan Fitzpatrick, James Morgan, Nick Mullens, etc. They aren't your guy so why spend extra money for a slightly better backup? Just sacrifice James Morgan and maybe he surprises the other team that has little film on him and gets the W. Maybe he becomes a trade chip then too. Use the resources you'd use on Mullens to get CB5 or some one who can fill in on ST until possibly breaking into a starting role and play more than the backup QB you never wanna see because if you do see em, that means your starter is down and that's depressing. Until he comes back out and lights the Bears on fire in primetime.

41 I agree that having Fields…

I agree that having Fields or Wilson sit for a year would be really foolish.  Rogers may have needed a year, but he looked pretty good when he came in for Farve against Dallas his second year.  I also thought he did really well his first year, but the team lost a bunch of close games (like Herbert last year).  Keeping it to the Jets, Pennington came in way too late, as he probably would have been an improvement on Vinny the year before, and the 2002 season was almost lost before Vinny got benched.  Having another guy who may at least be competent ensures an actual competition in camp.  Make the rookie win his job, don't give it to him the way it was given to Sanchez or Geno Smith.  Darnold had to beat out Bridgewater at least.

James Morgan is probably just a guy.  I wouldn't count on him surviving training camp.  Watch, he'll turn into Tom Brady 2.0.   I'd love it if he did, but I doubt it.  The Patriots had an idea that Brady was a starter going into his second year; Belichick has said that if it were a fair competition in camp that year, Brady would have started over Bledsoe.

Cb5?  More like CB1.  They only signed one guy off the Raiders, and he wasn't that great last year.  The problem is, there aren't a lot of decent players to sign right now.  The offseason went a little differently than I thought (I figured the teams that were over the cap would have to gut themselves, and that didn't happen).  The other thing about signing a back-up qb is that depth at the other positions can be addressed in the draft, since the Jets have a ton of picks.

45 Rodgers only really need time

to fix his mechanics a bit. Dallas game though was his third year and that was after going for 0.56 ANY/A on 37 dropbacks his first 2 years. Dreadful. Quite the contrast. His first year starting was solid. Nothing otherwordly (like Mahomes) but enough to see what he could become. 6-10 with an expected W-L of 8.9-7.1 so positive regression was coming, and it did, 11-5 the next year. The Chargers on the other hand exactly hit their expected 7-9 W-L. With some growth from Herbert, it's likely they can do better next year though. 

Fields can earn his spot by beating out James Morgan and Mike White (or whatever min untapped potential 3rd QB). Easier than Mullens yes but like you point out, even Darnold "beat out (or did NO just offer such a good deal?)" Teddy annnnnd he's still trash. So much for that competition. 

I doubt Morgan is anything too but, hey, he's been there a year, knows the players somewhat from practice. Why not throw him out there week 1 and if he balls, cool, trade him for somethin (as you should have a good gauge of his ceiling then), or if he fails like expected, cool, move on to the rookie and Morgan can hold the clipboard all while still trying to develop both but obviously more focused on the rookie. All while not devoting that much cap for him (both actually). More to spend on other positions to build the more talented QB up!

Yeah, CB5, LB4, any random other not solely ST position (K, P, LS), you can swing on with Mullens money. Whether that be a surprise release later or in UDFA. You can still address depth in the draft at the other positions but sometimes the board doesn't fall that way unfortunately. So just save the money for a rainy day fund and roll it over to next year for...whoever if nothing special comes up this year. The rookie getting hurt would overshadow much of any excitement of who's coming though. 

31 Malfeasance

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

I don't have a dog in this fight, so I'm just going to chime in on the one thing.

Signing someone like Mullens is simply having someone else who has played in the NFL on your roster. What happens if 1st round QB (Wilson presumably) sprains an ankle and can't play for a game or two? Especially week 1? No, somebody like him is not exciting, nor is it a chance of buying low on potential talent. But a backup QB should be someone like him--a basic level of competence. IMO, Mullens could end up with a Chase Daniel-type of career--he has shown that he is reasonably competent at the NFL level.

34 People here really…

In reply to by Joseph

People here really undervalue having at least basic competency available at QB. You really tick off the other talent on the team when you have to start Random AAF QB who can't get the play call in correct, because it actually does have an effect on their market value, and they know that. And, of course, it means that it's harder for you to figure out talent as well. Good chance you might end up letting a player go that you think is having issues, only to see them succeed with another team on the cheap.


35 And at one point he had no experience

In reply to by Joseph

If Wilsons hurt, just like a majority of teams starters, the seasons done. For a lot of teams they're done with their starter and you think it's likely you have a competent one on the bench? The difference between Mike White, James Morgan and Nick Mullens is what? 1 win? Maaaaybe? And that's not even over replacement when you dig down into the numbers. And are you really gonna have a hard time struggling to evaluate Mims but not vice versa with the QB? 

It's not about excitement, it's about saving the money for other players that actually do play and you're actually ok with seeing on the field instead of dread when the starter gets hurt. Kinda the way I felt when Aaron Rodgers goes down. You think I felt better when we replaced Hundley with Kizer? Not really. And even if I did, turns out they're backups for a reason! Spend it on LB4 or whatever that'll at least be able to play ST with an off chance of becoming a starter, instead of a multi million dollar insurance policy when....there's already one (or multiple) on the roster (and James Morgan actually has thrown to some of these guys, just in practice). Also hard to gameplan for a guy that doesn't have any tape (in the NFL), so surprise em that way if you really need to win for whatever reason.

Chase Daniels is the ultimate swindler. I see 0 value in the teams he's played on. Outside of memes of course. 

40 If Wilsons hurt, just like a…

If Wilsons hurt, just like a majority of teams starters, the seasons done.

The Chiefs have won the SB twice.  In both seasons, their starting QB missed time and competent backup play kept the team in contention until the starter returned.  The starters were a HoFer (Dawson) and reigning MVP (Mahomes) so on a par with Wilson or Rodgers.  There was a lot of talent around both QBs and HoF-caliber coaches, so it wasn't JUST competent backups that did it.  But that was a necessary condition.

44 The Patriots won the Super…

The Patriots won the Super Bowl in 2016 when Brady was suspended for the first 4 games, going 3-1 in those games thanks to competent play from their backups. 

Of course Belichick had previously won Super Bowls in 1990 (with the Giants) & 2001 with backup QBs forced to play significant time. I've heard him speak several times about the importance of the backup QB position. 

47 The Patriots went 11-5 in…

The Patriots went 11-5 in 2008 with a backup QB playing the whole year. That team barely missed the playoffs and you could argue were unlikely to win anything, but that team in fact had a higher DVOA than the 2001 Pats that won the SB. 

53 Indeed. Coaches still have…

Indeed. Coaches still have to figure out how to win games, even without the services of their HOF QBs. Looking at you, Mike McCarthy.

Still, the Pats fairly mediocre during that stretch. They likely would have been 2-2 had the Cardinals not botched a late FG in Week 1, and they got shut out at home by the Bills in Week 4. Their VOA was -5.6% for the first four games. Once Brady stepped in, they became a nearly unstoppable juggernaut.

Likewise, the 2008 Pats were decent (11.6% DVOA), but an enormous step down from the Brady versions in 2007 & 2009. That 11-5 was helped by an utter cupcake of a schedule.

Kudos to Belichick for keeping the team together and scrounging out a bunch of wins sans Brady, though. Yet another feather in his GOAT cap!

48 Yes, they did not win because of the backup QB

At least in this era with salary cap implications. Because Matt Moore is now unemployed and hasnt played since. If it was so important they would've just kept Alex Smith (who is/was better than Moore).

But yes players also miss time due to injuries. But the Mahomes injury was only short term. Just about anyone making it through a training camp could've done the same, if not, the extra savings could bump it up elsewhere to make the end results the same. 

Chasing such insignificant things that are such outliers too.

52 Specifically the Chiefs

IDK what the QB situation was like entering the season. Maybe Moore was the best option but had he not, they're still probably the champs. If they lose the Vikings game and all else stays the same, they're the 3rd seed and face the Titans, a team they would literally go on to beat anyway in that postseason. Already beat the other playoff teams in the Ravens and Patriots that year (yes things can change as we've seen but still). Only team that would have beat that season was the Bills and they...would've been favored. 

Those floors can be masqueraded by scheme as well. And we know Bieniemy/Reid are good at that. Mahomes just takes them to another level. Again, I'll point out, specifically, the Chiefs ran with Chad Henne, this past year instead of Moore, who is not on a roster right now. Might be overrating his floor, specifically. 

54 The Chiefs actively kept…

The Chiefs actively kept Henne. He's been there 3 years, and the Chiefs have basically dedicated ~$10M to him. That's the point - he's not some trash guy they don't care about. They actually paid him more than Moore. He was like a 'developmental backup QB,' I guess.

Moore's a 13-year veteran. Him not being on a roster isn't super-surprising.

55 Wait

So you're saying that was a good deal, because they won a SB, in which he didnt contribute? And that Moore, came in and did exactly what they wanted Henne to do? Hmm

And the whole argument sorta started with Mullens having experience, so shouldn't that be enough, add the supposed value for them winning that one game vs MN, for Moore to get a job? Even though he's only a year older than Henne? Maybe the Jets should sign him, even though I wouldn't. 

68 No, nor did I even come…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

No, nor did I even come close to saying anything like that. I'm saying they dedicated resources to getting backups in the long-term and played whichever one proved themselves. Sometimes that results in a cheap guy as your primary backup, sometimes it's the more expensive one, and which one's which can change over time.

But the key there is dedicating resources to it.

"add the supposed value for them winning that one game vs MN, for Moore to get a job?"

Experience with team A != experience with team B.

43 The value of a decent backup QB

I disagree with your assessment that there is little-to-no value in a backup QB. I do agree that if your starting QB is lost for half the season or more that your team is screwed. But there is value for a QB who can competently play. The most obvious example is Nick Foles; the Eagles don't win the SB if their backup is on the level of Scott Tolzien. A backup QB who can win a few games, even if it's not on the level of winning a Super Bowl, can save a season by winning a a game or two just like Flynn did when he replaced Tolzien. A backup QB who can help your team go 2-3 rather than 0-5 over a stretch when your starter is out still has value. 

Your point about how much cap space the backup takes is valid. It's not a bad idea to spend a little extra when you have a starter on his first contract, but veteran QBs consume too much cap space to allow that luxury. It's just a tough balancing act in the cap era. 

49 Sure

Having a better players, even at backup spots is better. But in a salary capped game, it's the cost. Foles and Dilfer will always be the outliers but we never look at the other 31 teams that didn't win it throughout the years. 

Even when Flynn came in 2013 (after being 2 other teams so he was actually pretty cheap) the end results of the team weren't as desired. And that desire is a SB, even if it's really hard.

So if my starter goes out, even for just a few games, you're already at a disadvantage. I'd rather that money that goes to a guy you never want to see on the field, go to a guy that can potentially protect him, catch from him, force turnovers for him, give him good field position, now or later down the line if someone at his position gets hurt, etc.

QBs are vastly protected and it's true they're likely to miss time at some point in their career due to injuries but nonetheless, they control/get catered to so much in todays game. If you don't want to get hit (and increase the likelihood of getting hurt), throw the ball. And when they do hit you, sometimes they get flagged and/or you escape just fine (because every QB gets hit/sacked multiple times a year yet they usually pop right back up). 

You're last paragraph is my conclusion lol. I understand the risks of rolling with James Morgan but that's because I'm going all in on my starter and will bite the bullet if he gets hurt (which can be prevented, Brady is the master of the quick passing game and one of the reasons he's still surviving). 

The best version of this working out/not really in the end was Teddy in NO. 5-0 that year yet in the end losing to the team (MN) that lost to the team (SF) that lost to the SB champs (KC). Maybe if they could've used that $7.25m (and the 3rd they traded the year prior) on a DI (where they were lacking, one of the few spots that wasn't stellar on the 2019 Saints). They got what they wanted out of Teddy in the end, yet not out of the end of season, when he was holding a clip board while watching them lose to the Vikings. 

For me, my backup QB(s) would mainly be cheap(er), "untapped" guys, instead of more expensive "you know what you're getting which is usually just meh" guys. If my starter gets hurt, hopefully the backup (usually younger) can surprise the other team with little to no game film on him. 

62 Wow!!!

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

You really do go ballistic over anyone even daring to disagree with you a teeny bit. 

"And that desire is a SB ..." That's the long term goal. But you are putting the cart before the proverbial horse. If you don't have goals to achieve that goal, you'll never make the playoffs. Goals come in layers. Players need to make the team. The team needs to win each game. The team needs to make the playoffs. Once you make the playoffs, you concentrate on winning each game before you even make it to the Super Bowl. You want to win the Super Bowl without putting in the work to get there. And that means making the team, winning each game, and making the playoffs before you can even think about winning the Super Bowl. So the question I have for you is why you are willing to trash a whole season if your QB misses a few games? Flynn did make a difference in 2013 as his QB wins helped the Pack get to 8-7-1 and win the NFC North that year. Rodgers won the Super Bowl when the Pack were the #6 seed in 2010. It meant winning three road playoff games and the SB to do it, but they couldn't get there without making the playoffs first. 

"... I'm going all in on my starter and will bite the bullet if he gets hurt (which can be prevented, Brady is the master of the quick passing game and one of the reasons he's still surviving)." Yes, Brady may be the best ever at the quick passing game. But injuries happen. Every QB will get hurt eventually if they play long enough. Brady missed all but the first part of the first game of 2008. The team was still good enough to win 11 games, which makes the playoffs most years. Maybe Cassell gets them to the SB if they qualify for the playoffs. You're not going to make many owners happy with your GM strategy if your starter is hurt. Very few starting QBs have the durability of Brady, Favre, or the Manning brothers. And heaven help you if you get a Sam Bradford. 

You want to play pedantic, I can play pedantic all day. I'm retired. 

64 What?

In reply to by justanothersteve that "ballistic?" Lol pot calling kettle black. I responded pretty calmly ngl.

I dont want to put the work in to winning a not signing a Nick Mullens or Matt Flynn? So because one 6th seed won it all, the 8-8 Bears this year had just as good of a chance? The 2010 Packers were indeed 10-6 but were much better than that. Expected W-L of 12.1-3.9, second in SRS. But now the Bears are in purgatory and probably should've blown it up like the Jags did this year but hey go a trade for Nick Foles I guess. How was that backup QB situation? Pretty pointless in my eyes. Neither guy was one you want leading your franchise (even if we're all thankfully for Foles beating Brady). And looking back at he '13 Packers, (whispers) Tolzien was more efficient than Flynn. That Packers team had other problems as well, hence why they lost in the WC, with Rodgers to the team (SF) that lost to the champs (SEA). 

Yes Brady has been hurt...I...literally said "it's true they're likely to miss time at some point in their career due to injuries." But with todays rules, medicine and overall knowledge, you can prolong careers easier than in the past. But I highly doubt Joe Douglas will get fired because he stayed with the cheap James Morgan rather than sign Nick Mullens if they go such a route. If you want to placate an owner and keep your job, that's on you and your own team building strategy. Not for me obviously. If I get fired I'm sure severance package will be nice.

The game is won in minor details. That's why football is fun. Sorry if you think this is ballistic as well. I like discussing football in length, unfortunately. 

79 Not following you at all

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

I have no idea what Morgan has to do with this. I'm bringing up a general point on why you should try to have a competent backup QB because you never know when an injury may knock your starter out for a few games, which means it's good if your backup can give your team some hope that they may still win because you only get so many legit shots at a Super Bowl. If your point is that he's not competent, then he won't be in the NFL for long. But I honestly don't care one way or another and he's irrelevant to this discussion. 

The difference between last year's 8-8 Bears and the 8-7-1 Packers is Aaron Rodgers. But any team making the playoffs can win the Super Bowl even with a mediocre QB like Trubinsky as we've seen with Foles, Flacco, and Dilfer. I'm not saying they'll win. Only one in twelve playoff teams win the Super Bowl. But it's more of a chance than if you don't make the playoffs because your crap backup QB blew every start. 

Your arguments are all over the place. You say your goal is to win the Super Bowl. The problem is you don't want to worry about the details to make it happen, although you obsess over details when they back your argument. That's not being fun. That's just being contrarian because you like to argue. 


82 Well you jumped in, in the middle

Morgan is the backup. Didn't think it was that hard to track but nonetheless. And being in the NY for a year, he'll essentially be just as "competent" as Mullens or even more so, especially when you use that money elsewhere. 

We've seen "great" backups (already mentioned Teddy) do their job and then nothing in the playoffs...because there are other problems. The Bears spend a 4th on backup Foles, which amounted to a "7%" (1/14) chance and...they had other problems. They should've addressed them (with that 4th, and the subsequent $ savings) instead of trying to upgrade from Chase Daniels. In reality they only increase their chance if their starter gets hurt...which already hurts their chances! My point! Meanwhile Matt Flynn went 0-1 during the last Packers SB run. Thankfully they had him that year to average 5 ANY/A! No one 

The irony of the guy that doesn't know why Morgan was brought up is telling others they're all over the place. Whew. Also telling others they like to argue when you're replying to me. 

How is saying "I'd spend the money elsewhere rather than on Nick freakin Mullens, a backup, a guy you never want to see play because it means your starter, the better one, is out" a take that warrants such a strong reaction lol.

88 Foles was clearly not signed…

Foles was clearly not signed as a backup by Chicago. No, he didn't start the season, but he was there to directly compete with a very shaky starter. (You can question the Foles signing for sure, but saying he was signed purely as a backup is disingenuous). 

Several recent examples have been stated above of successful teams making meaningful investments in backups QBs, then those backups coming in and managing to keep those successful teams afloat in the short term. Examples from legendary head coaches such as Belichick, Reid and Payton. It seems you might be out on a limb with this one.

89 That just makes it worse lol

So they supposedly trade, not for a backup, but a starter? A guy better than a backup? And he ends up losing to a guy they already wanted to bench? Big yikes. Part of my point. They went mid. They went for a guy that miiiiiiiiiiiiiight be better than Mitch but only by a very tiny amount. Go for one of the top guys not maybe QB30 in the world. Go for a guy that has a better chance at it (usually younger) than a guy we know who he is and that he...isn't a top guy.

I've already given several examples as well. From Payton, Belichick, Reid too lol. Still dont know how saying "In reality they only increase their chance if their starter gets hurt...which already hurts their chances!" at the most important position, that doesn't rotate like other positions, is going out on a limb. Think people are just obsessed with QB to the point they're spending money on one...they never want to see play!

The Bucs didn't win because of Bortles 49 snaps that only he could replicate. Or the Raiders spending on Mariota (who actually played really well in a lil bit bigger sample size, but it still didn't matter because going back to their (better) starter they still had problems elsewhere). Or the Jets signing Flacco (who played better than Darnold!) just to...stay terrible? Heck go back just a year with Flacco and how that trade work out for Denver? Maybe should went with someone that we didn't know was mid? Yeah that's the rule, not the exception. I mean look at Dallas signing Dalton. There were... certain people...saying that Dalton could do just as well as Dak but be cheaper and fast forward...nope! Still needed a defense. Countless examples but yes, there are exceptions to every rule. Wouldn't bet on them though...with millions of dollars. Like so many teams literally do every year but no one cares because so many of them become losers and fade away into irrelevant history. lol

Maybe the '13 Packers would've been better off losing those games in the long run instead trying to patch together a team to barely make the playoffs. Then promptly get dismissed. And fwiw, they ended up firing that HC and still have yet to make a SB since then. Not directly because of that but in some more convoluted indirect ways. Crazy, I know.

61 "The difference between Mike…

"The difference between Mike White, James Morgan and Nick Mullens is what? 1 win? Maaaaybe?"

The difference might be quite large, actually. Mullens didn't perform much worse for the 49ers than Garoppolo, and Garoppolo is at the very least a starting quality QB.

63 Might?

How much are we paying mights? I don't think being much worse than Garoppolo is the complement one would want to hear. 

71 One win

Prob. won't matter to the Jets this year, but how many teams EVERY YEAR miss the playoffs (or a 1st round bye) because of one win?

Mind you, with Mullens (or someone similar), I am suggesting a one or two year deal, for about $3-4 million per--definitely not more than $5M per. If it wasn't for the QB premium, I would suggest the vet miniumum--which is the same you should be paying somebody at the bottom of the roster. Also, with the Jets finances, it's not like they can't do both. There are other teams who don't have that cash available, so it's a different conversation for them. 

Really, training camp is where you make the decision on these types of issues. You shouldn't be paying anybody who ISN'T slated to pay >20% of non ST snaps much more than the vet minimum--except the backup QB and the three specialists. The difference being is that every position, outside of O-line and QB, has regular substitutions. [Obviously, there are a handful of defensive players that play practically every snap. They are the exceptions, not the norm.] At those positions, you have multiple starters, and multiple backups are necessary--they can't all earn good money. However, in the QB room, IMO, you need an established starter (no matter the age), a backup who is decent floor/low ceiling, and a developmental-type QB who is low floor/no ceiling established yet. Ideally, the backup is somebody who mentally understands the game, but whose physical tools don't allow him to take advantage of that knowledge consistently. 

12 The Panthers are botching the QB position

Should've never signed Teddy in the first place and rolled with Cam one more year and at worst you're what? In the same position and still trying to trade up buuuuuut SF beat them to it and the only other option is...your division rival. Lol good luck.

Made no sense at the time either mind you! Less than a year later into the 3 year deal and they're regretting it. Not surprising when you watch him. But they got duped by his W-L with NO. Now they went from clearing room to get Watson to doing...this. A 2nd seemed like the going rate among those in the know but they also gave up two other non R7 picks? Yikes.

Despite all this, Teddys been better than Darnold over the last 3 years (since he entered the league). Teddy is 18th in EPA+CPOE composite, while Darnold is, conveniently 32nd (of those with at least Teddys amount of plays, 866). Yes, dead last. In fact you can even tune that down to 618 (Rosen 617) plays and Darnold is still last, 41st, while Teddy "only" drops to 20th. 

Ironically, Darnold reunites with Robby Anderson. I wonder how thrilled RA is coming off of a career year in not just receiving yards but catch % (and by a lot too). 

Desperation. Gave up more than the Dolphins did for Rosen (2nd + 5th) despite having literally half the time to evaluate him in the building. And let it also be noted he's been below average in every statistic, every year of his career via PFR. Carolina is gonna find themselves in the same position next year. Except the class likely won't be as deep. Should've just out bid SF or something. 

15 What exactly is wrong with…

What exactly is wrong with having Teddy on the team at $20MM per year?  He's an average QB making the going rate for an average veteran at the position.  As his coach stated, he played fine last year until he got hurt in the TB game. I really don't get why people don't like him and I don't get why someone would want to take on the Darnold reclamation project over him. 

17 $21m*

Uh, exactly what happened this past season? When his cap hit was by far the lowest? It says a lot when they give up that much for an agreed upon bad player. Also they were said to be in on Stafford (pointless upgrade too). They clearly are done with him. 

He's 21st (out of 31 QBs with at least his amount of plays, 1952) in EPA+CPOE composite since he entered the league in 2014. Aim higher, because he certainly isn't (in any way) or you end up in purgatory like this, making questionable moves just to try and get out of it. 

20 Where does McCaffery's…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

Where does McCaffery's unavailability fit into your narrative? The Carolina offense was always going to be somewhat dependent upon his production.  I would argue that the problems with the Carolina offense need to start there before complaining about the QB.

Also you underscored my point.  Teddy was a known quantity when they signed him.  He proceeded to produce in line with his historical norm.  

21 Uh

2017-2019 evidence of not moving the needle and Mike Davis doing just fine?

The problems start with the RB? That you use too often? I agree. 0-3 with CMC last year, and all with Teddy (how did PJ Walker win his only start? hmmm)

Yes. He produced as usual. Which was the problem. It...doesn't...move the needle. But it wasn't just a 1 year deal either...or even 2. Simply find a needle mover, even if it's not simple. 

26 Then why did they decide to…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

Then why did they decide to pay CMC? So why am I supposed to trust the evaluation skills of the current regime when their big FA QB signing from 2020 turns out to be...exactly as advertised yet their response is to try to find anyone to replace him (literally anyone)?  There's not a single thing that Darnold has shown at this level that suggests he's a better player than Teddy.

Oh and it's a bad deal for Carolina. Darnold will be making $18MM+ in 2021 and will be in line for a hefty raise if he figures it out.  So Carolina just did a deal with a lot of downside (loss of picks, the very real possibility that Darnold cannot play, not being able to get much of a return if they decide to trade Teddy) and very little upside (Darnold has to get paid if he figures it out, Teddy likely won't be on the opening day roster so the backup QB likely won't be good (yes, I've seen PJ Walker play. His claim to fame is that he went to Temple)).


27 Bro

Bad franchise does bad things. I already said Bridgewaters been better and they lost the trade. Mindlessly throwing picks away in hopes of a random unprecedent breakout. We agree on that. But that doesn't make Teddy or his deal good. Just another one of those middling moves that puts them, not high enough to actually grab a young cheap QB of their choosing up multiple picks, but not good enough to actually compete. It was pointless at the time and proven as such a year later. And whether it's Darnold or Teddy, they're more or less gonna end up in the same spot as this year. Just out of reach of the top QBs but also not giving anyone a run for their money. Purgatory. Teams love it instead of biting the bullet. 

23 So in the end

The Jets traded a 1st and three 2nds for a 2nd, 4th and 6th. 

Quenton Nelson, Braden Smith, Dallas Goedert and Rock Ya-Sin for Darnold was the OG trade.

Also Teddy being kicked out over Sam yet again. At least it wont be at the end of the preseason, right?

65 Perhaps

In reply to by LyleNM

But still dont know how we get Bob from Robert. Hello Bobert?

67 Back in the Middle Ages,…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

Back in the Middle Ages, there was a fad for rhyming nicknames, often taken from shortened names:

Robert --> Rob --> Bob

Richard --> Rick --> Dick

William --> Will --> Bill

Margaret --> Maggy/Meggy --> Peggy

Edward --> Ed --> Ted

Ann --> Nan --> Nancy

Helen --> Nell



70 Now my biggest problem with…

Now my biggest problem with this move is that it's wasting potentially two years on Sam Darnold. I can only assume that they initially had a qb that they liked and were going to take him but now feel like that player is definitely not going to be there.

They wasted two years is a big opportunity cost. It's like spending 2 years on earning a useless major that provides no value. It's akin to my issue with the Carson Wentz signing ( who btw has a lot of the same injury issues that Jimmy G has), but at least there exists some evidence of upside with Wentz. There's only conjecture and chained assumptions with Darnold.


80 I'm puzzled too

My only answer is that they think it's the only reasonable option left for the Panthers because they don't think a QB worth drafting at #8 will be there. If Darnold busts, they probably pick early the next couple years and can draft a Spencer Rattler or Sam Howell or whoever jumps ahead of the others. Sucks for Ruhle, CMC, and the rest of the team, but it works if you're thinking long term. 

72 This thread will look…

This thread will look hilariously awesome if James Morgan (Captain Morgan to Jets fans) steals the job and ends up doing well.  He would also be the anti-Brady, in the sense that Brady had pretty good stats if not enough starts (because his coach kept him on the bench), while Morgan did not have great stats at Florida International, and is more of a project with better arm strength and mobility.

76 darnold

I'm old now and I've watched the Jets for about 35 years. I think this is sad (I wanted them to draft Sewell not another QB)  The Jets have drafted more QBs than anyone else - and how has that turned out?  Sam didn't suddenly lose his skills, he didn't suddenly forget how to be a great QB. He can make all the throws. His problem has been who he's throwing to, a lack of protection, bad coaching, and a lack of talent around him.  Sam didn't cripple the Jets,  the Jets crippled him like they did every other QB.  But the part that really bothers me is how some teams accumulate players -- tampa brought in gronk,  and antonio brown, fournette, etc. The chiefs grabbed sammy watkins and hell, they didnt even need him.  But the Jets get rid of everyone.  Demario Davis, Robby Anderson, Damon Harrison, Jamal Adams, Jerrico Cotchery, Tarell Basham, Neville Hewitt, Sheldon Richardson, etc etc ---   its very frustrating. If the Jets had control of the Beates they woulda dumped lennon and mccartney.  I guess they're just a training ground for the rest of the league.  really sucks.  But like it has been noted..  the dolphins ran tannehill out of miami because he stunk ...  but you give him some protection, a little time to throw and the threat of a running game and he almost got to the SB...  

78 Not specific to the Jets,…

In reply to by Jerry Garcia

Not specific to the Jets, but this is still a chicken and egg thing: Is it the QB or is the environment that determines the outcome?

I don't think there's a clear answer, though we have some general examples. Andrew Luck went to a terrible team and did ok. Baker Mayfield went to a team where literally every first round player turned into a bust. Manning went to a Colts team with a pretty weak history of success.

I generally fall on the side of its the QBs fault, and even if he is still a good qb, it was unlikely to be realized by his 5th year with this Jets team. 

84 To be fair

In reply to by Jerry Garcia

His problems in the NFL are more or less the same ones that plagued him college, so...yeah he didn't lose his skill?

81 I always think of Archie…

I always think of Archie Manning.  He goes to the cowboys and maybe he wins superbowls. A career on the saints,  and well, that was the end of archie manning.  


Pat Mahomes - seemingly unbeatable.  Plays the Bucs-  they take away his time to throw, and cover receivers and he loses. No QB can win if he doesn't have time to throw. Thats why defenses win championships.  The great Payton Manning  played the Jets in a playoff game ...  the Jets took away his time to throw, took away the receivers and I think he scored 3 points -in 4 quarters!  I don't think it matters who the QB is. If he is running for his life, getting sacked hard repeatedly, take away the running game they will lose.  Thats what Darnold deals with every week on the Jets.  Whenever he has time in the pocket and someone gets open, he completes the pass.  This formula is tried and true and it has been that way forever.  If Pat Mahomes played for the Jets he'd have a losing record, and he probably would be dealing with a bad shoulder from being slammed to the turf repeatedly.   And it wouldn't be his fault. Its not like he cant play the position. But every QB needs some protection, and a few seconds for receivers to run down field. Darnold is under immediate pressure, he gets hit over and over, he never had a #1 receiver, he never had a #1 RB -- he was set up to fail like so many Jets' quarterbacks before him. The Jets are QB killers. And it's a shame. 

Darnold did not hurt the Jets.  The Jets hurt Darnold. 

85 RE: defense win championships

I think you mean teams. Had Archie gone to the 10-4 Cowboys coming off of a 3 point SB loss, yes he probably wins more than 0 SBs (or least a better chance). But not solely because of defense but because they're a better team overall (with a 3x pro bowl LG, who would go on to 3 more and 2 AP all pro 1st teams). Either way that was 50 years again. 

The Chiefs were still pretty good with a makeshift OL the game prior but it finally dipped below a workable threshold. Because, remember, they had already beat the Bucs in Tampa, earlier in the season without Mitchell Schwartz (hurt), LDT (opt out), and Lucas Niang (opt out). The Eric Fisher injury pushed them over the edge. Note to teams: do not play Mike Remmers at OT, especially in the SB (Cam Newton cries) 

Going back to Darnold, idk how we can just blame everything on others, especially when they gave him Becton, Crowder, Mims, etc. It's just not a good look when old broken Flacco is more efficient than the #3 overall pick in his 3rd year. A lot of people were saying the same thing with Rosen. At least Rosen could fall back on saying it was his rookie year...and then the next year he could've said it was a new system, etc. If you're picking that high, it's likely a combination of both. 

86 crowder and mims

Not #1 receivers.  maybe #2, or 3. Darnold never had a #1 receiver. Or a #1 back. No QB could win more than 4 games with that team. The Jets keep doing the same thing and expect different results. I cant think of any team that has burned through more QBs, and destroyed more careers.  Its frustrating.

I watched Trent Dilfer play for quite a while (Im near Tampa).  They laughed that incompetent loser right out of town.

I think we know how that worked out.   :)

87 Despite all that

In reply to by Jerry Garcia

"It's just not a good look when old broken Flacco is more efficient than the #3 overall pick in his 3rd year."

He played with the same team. And that was his first year there. I think it's reasonable to expect more out of such a high pick, regardless of who the RB is.