April 12, 2021

New York Jets trade Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers

In a move that had my phone blowing up with pissed off Carolina Panthers fans, the Panthers have acquired Sam Darnold from the New York Jets for a 2021 NFL Draft sixth-round pick (No. 226) plus second- and fourth-round selections in the 2022 draft.

I have NOT heard from so many people from the state I called home for 25 years in the last 16 months I have lived in Ohio, well not until the Panthers decided to settle for mediocracy at the quarterback position again and traded away any shot of a creating a brighter future for the franchise.

Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer said talks with the Jets heated up at Ohio State’s pro day on March 30 and continued over the Easter weekend.

“This doesn’t take us out of anything in the draft,” Fitterer said. “It doesn’t take us out of taking a quarterback, it doesn’t take us out of taking any position. What we wanted to do going into this draft, through free agency, through this trade with Sam, was to just get rid of all the needs we have”

Darnold has one year remaining on his rookie contract, with guaranteed salary and bonuses totaling $4.6 million.

Now, the Panthers must decide on Darnold’s fifth-year option for 2022 by May 3; the predetermined amount is $18.8 million, fully guaranteed.

He was due to count $9.8 million on the Jets’ cap, but they will get $4.8 million in relief and a $5 million “dead” charge for 2021.

The question on every Panthers fan mind, who will they be stuck with at QB1…Teddy Bridgewater or Sam Darnold? Either one, means no playoffs, no Super Bowl and no future.