Why Washington might have to wait in a potential Sam Darnold trade

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Ethan Cadeaux
·3 min read
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Why WFT might have to wait in a potential Sam Darnold trade originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The quarterback movement of the 2021 offseason is in full effect, yet the Washington Football Team's quest to find a franchise passer remains ongoing.

With Matthew Stafford now headed to Los Angeles and acquiring Deshaun Watson from Houston a pipe dream, many have pegged New York Jets signal-caller Sam Darnold as a potential option for Washington.

But, if Washington does have eyes on acquiring the 2018 No. 3 overall pick from the Jets, Ron Rivera's club might have to be patient. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, New York does not plan on making a decision whether to keep Darnold or not for several weeks.

"The Jets are not going to make a decision on Sam Darnold until at least they complete their quarterback evaluations," Rapoport said on Wednesday. "That is not going to happen until at least April. So, you have time there."

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New York holds the second overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, meaning it’ll have a choice of any quarterback besides Clemson star Trevor Lawrence, who the Jaguars are expected to pick first overall.

The Jets plan on doing their due diligence on every quarterback they could possibly take at No. 2. That includes Ohio State's Justin Fields, BYU's Zach Wilson, North Dakota State's Trey Lance and, although unlikely, perhaps Alabama's Mac Jones.

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With no NFL Scouting Combine this winter due to the ongoing pandemic, the best way for the Jets (and every team) to scout these passers is by attending each one of their respective Pro Days, which are scattered until the end of March. 

"Do not expect the Jets to make any decision on Darnold until they get through all of that," Rapoport said.

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In fact, Rapoport even suggested the Jets could hold on to Darnold until the draft itself (April 29-May 1), hoping to drive up the price for their former first-rounder should they chose to move on from him.

"They could even take this up to the draft, forcing some team who misses out on the quarterback they want to have to trade for Darnold, maybe giving the Jets a better price than what they would have gotten just because of the timing element being close to the draft," Rapoport said.

The Jets have yet to make a decision on Darnold. But, if Washington does become fixated on the 23-year-old QB, it might simply have to wait.