New York Jets – Is Sam’s Time Done in Florham Park?

Stephen Zantz on the ongoing struggles of New York Jets QB Sam Darnold…

The Jets continued their nightmare season on Sunday falling to the Bills 18-10. After this game, the fanbase is starting to have the question we did not expect or wanted to ask ourselves this season. Is Sam Darnold really going to be elsewhere in 2021?

We have arrived at an uncomfortable position with Sam Darnold. Yesterday was the epitome of Sam’s short NFL career. There were moments where you thought to yourself “No need to tank to for Trevor, let’s trade the pick”. And then there were moments where you felt like you were watching Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith, or (insert bad Jets QB here). It truly is a shame that the organization has failed Darnold so much in surrounding him with a good roster and competent coaching. Unfortunately in life and in the NFL, things aren’t always fair. Josh Rosen is a prime example of this. He had an underwhelming rookie season and it led to a complete overhaul of the Cardinals’ coaching staff and roster. He was shipped off to Miami and got another chance, but failed to distinguish himself which led to his release in August. Rosen is now on the Bucs’ practice squad and may get another chance in the future.

Sam’s Jet story is not over yet but based on everything you’ve seen this year it’s hard to imagine a scenario where he is here next year. Adam Gase will be gone (hopefully) and Joe Douglas will most likely look to take a new QB which is a selling point for the next coach. I’ve written about Sam a lot since I started writing for TOJ. I truly believe he has everything you need to be a franchise QB in the NFL. He’s big, has a strong arm, and has the athletic ability you need to play in the modern NFL. The problem for Sam has been consistency. Some games he looks great and is the reason the Jets have won the past 3 years. There are other games where Sam has looked lost and forced the ball to receivers which led to bad turnovers. Joe Burrow continues to impress despite having a bad offensive line which has been an excuse for Darnold the past 2 seasons. Justin Herbert was deemed raw coming out of college. He seems pretty far along through the first half of his rookie season. If you are a true franchise QB, you can overcome the shortcomings around you to make your team competitive. Sam has failed to do that which is why his time here might be over. 4 yards in a half is unacceptable and pointing to the line being terrible is a lazy excuse. He is gone backwards and the stats are showing it.

I’m frustrated and disappointed we have gotten to this point. It never should have happened this soon. Maybe Sam will turn it around and prove he is the guy for the Jets. Given the state of the team, he will most likely be the next cast member of the weekly sitcom #GaseFreedomWatch.

Sam Darnold Career Stats by Season:

2018 (13 Games): 2,865 yds 17 TDs 15 INTs 58% Comp. 6.9 YPA

2019 (13 Games): 3,024 yds 19 TDs 13 INTs 62% Comp. 6.9 YPA

2020 (5 Games): 912 yds 3 TDs 6 INTs 58% Comp. 5.7 YPA

Projected 2020 (14 Games): 2,553 yds 12 TDs 17 INTs 58% Comp. 5.7 YPA