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Jets trade Sam Darnold to Panthers in latest NFL quarterback carousel move

NFL: New York Jets at Seattle Seahawks
Reports have said that Pete Carroll is “high” on former Jets QB Sam Darnold, who was traded to Carolina Monday.
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

A rumored trade partner for Russell Wilson and the Seahawks has decided to go a different direction in their quest to find a quarterback.

The New York Jets have signaled that they will likely be attempting to acquire their potential franchise quarterback through the 2021 NFL Draft by trading QB Sam Darnold (who was the #3 overall pick in 2018) to the Carolina Panthers on Monday afternoon. The Panthers sent a 2021 sixth-round pick, 2022 second-round pick, and 2022 fourth-round pick to the Meadowlands in return for the former USC quarterback.

The trade comes after the most aggressive Russell Wilson suitor, the Chicago Bears, shored up their quarterback spot by signing Andy Dalton to a one-year, $10 million deal.

The Jets were long thought to be a solid trade target for Seattle given their possession of the second-overall pick, two of Seattle’s first-rounders (which were sent over in the Jamal Adams trade), as well as Pete Carroll’s reported affinity for Darnold.

The Panthers are not in possession of the same amount of draft capital that the Jets had, so even though they too are in need of a quarterback, any trade where Wilson headed to Charlotte always seemed unlikely. Carolina does however have former Seahawk David Moore for Darnold to target, and Scott Fitterer is the Panthers GM, so those are the Seattle connections that they do have.

As for Darnold, he’ll look to resurrect his career after three lackluster (putting it kindly) years with the Jets. He’s still just 23 years old and will have a fresh start with head coach Matt Rhule and offensive coordinator Joe Brady, who’s most famous for his work with Joe Burrow at LSU.