Sam Darnold drew interest from 49ers, Washington before Panthers’ deal

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Anthony Rizzuti
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Scott Fitterer, Matt Rhule and the Carolina Panthers weren’t the only ones who had an eye on Sam Darnold. In fact, trading away some decent draft capital to undertake a potentially futile resurrection project appealed to at least two other teams.

According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, the San Francisco 49ers and the Washington Football Team were also interested in the new Panthers quarterback. Both teams reportedly took a “hard look” at Darnold before free agency, but were rebuffed by the New York Jets’ unwillingness to deal their former third overall pick at the time.

Darnold was, obviously, instead traded to Carolina yesterday afternoon in exchange for a sixth-round selection this year and second and fourth-rounders in 2022. The Panthers, as noted by Albert Breer of The MMQB, had looked into Darnold a while back as well, with talks having begun between them and the Jets back in mid-February.

San Francisco and Washington went in two (very) different directions after moving on. The former flew up the 2021 draft order to the No. 3 spot, shipping away three first-round picks and a third to the Miami Dolphins to, presumably, select a rookie quarterback in a few weeks. The latter opted to sign the 38-year-old Ryan Fitzpatrick to a one-year, $10 million contract.

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