Patriots Talk Podcast: Is Jets QB Sam Darnold a good fit for the Patriots? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The New England Patriots don't appear to have a long-term solution at quarterback.
Cam Newton hasn't played well in his first season with the team and is able to become a free agent in the offseason. Second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham also has struggled in limited action this year. Neither player looks like a great long-term option right now.
So, what are the options for the Patriots at the NFL's most important position? Believe it or not, one of them might be on the field Monday night.
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold is in the midst of another disappointing season. He ranks at, or near the bottom of the league in many passing statistics. Darnold has completed just 58.6 percent of his passes for 1,045 yards with three touchdowns and six interceptions.
In his defense, he is playing for an awful team -- the last remaining winless club in the league at 0-8 -- and his head coach, Adam Gase, has done a really bad job turning around the Jets offense. New York has been a horrible situation for Darnold, and most quarterbacks probably would struggle at a similar rate in that offense.
The Jets are on track to get the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft. If they do get the first overall pick and have the opportunity to select one of the top two prospects -- Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields -- would New York make Darnold available for trade?
If that happened, would he be a reasonable target for the Patriots in the offseason? Tom E. Curran, Phil Perry and Matt Cassel discussed this topic on the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast.
"I think you could absolutely make a case for Sam Darnold," Cassel said. "I know the guy personally. I think he's a really good player. He's been put in a really bad situation. If you look at this year -- (Breshad) Perriman and (Jamison) Crowder -- and all the guys he's had, they've had a lot of injuries over the course of the year, with guys like (Braxton) Berrios as well -- the fact of the matter he is young and talented. He can make plays outside the pocket. He's been sacked 19 times this year, so he's been pressured constantly.
"And Adam Gase, for all the stuff people talk about and him being a great offensive mind, he's shown zero to me that he's an incredible offensive mind. ... (Darnold) had a pretty good rookie season. He was hurt a little bit last year, he also had mono, and he came off of that and didn't play great last year, but he's in a bad situation.
"This kid is super talented. He can throw the ball, he's got a quick delivery. He can make all the throws and makes plays with his legs. Honestly, he probably should've been sacked a lot more than those 19 times, but that's because he makes plays with his legs. He's a guy who has a lot of upside but hasn't been put in a great situation.
Now, while the Patriots aren't anywhere near as bad as the Jets, you could argue that they also aren't a great situation for a quarterback right now.
"Not right now, nobody is going to come in here and be very successful at the quarterback situation, especially in the passing game," Cassel said.
"Let's be honest -- we know what we're working with here. If he came over here, he probably wouldn't have much success, either. The fact of the matter is they've got to rebuild and Sam could be a good fit, but you also have to surround him with players.
Also discussed in this episode: Did the Patriots have a real succession plan for Tom Brady? Can we now say Jarrett Stidham isn't the future? Plus, an interview with NBC Sports' Tony Dungy on the state of the Patriots and the team's future.