Jets' La'Mical Perine voices support for Sam Darnold: 'I hope he’s on our team this year'

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Alex Smith
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Sam Darnold hands off to La'Mical Perine
Sam Darnold hands off to La'Mical Perine

The Jets have a huge decision to make this offseason at the quarterback position, needing to determine if the best route for the franchise is to stick with and build around Sam Darnold, or take a quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick in April’s NFL Draft.

But Jets running back La’Mical Perine already has his own answer to that question, and would like to see the team stick with No. 14 under center.

“No disrespect to any of the quarterbacks in the draft, but I actually had a chance to play with Sam and was able to be in the backfield with him, so I know what he brings to the team,” Perine told the Good Morning Football crew on Wednesday. “He’s a great leader, man. We’ve just got to put great weapons around him, and he can very well succeed and be one of the top quarterbacks in this league.”

As a rookie in 2019, Perine ran the ball 32 times for 232 yards and two touchdowns, sharing carries in the backfield with Frank Gore and Le’Veon Bell, before Bell was released in mid-October.

And the Florida product clearly liked what he saw from Darnold both as a teammate and as a leader in the locker room.

“He’s a great vocal leader, he’s a great guy to be around, he’s competitive, and I’m ready to look forward to him,” Perine said. “I hope he’s on our team this year being my starting quarterback.”

While Darnold has been very up and down over the course of his first three NFL seasons, he’s shown flashes of his arm strength and overall athleticism that saw him drafted third overall in 2018.

And if the Jets do stick with Darnold and instead look to move the No. 2 pick to another QB-needy team, sources have told SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano that the Jets would get “way more value” for moving the pick as opposed to trading Darnold.

One things is for certain, though, and that’s the fact the Darnold has the support of his backfield partner.