Sam Darnold is excited about his new opportunity with the Carolina Panthers, but the former Jets quarterback admits “it stings a little bit” to be discarded just three seasons into his NFL
Sam Darnold is excited about his new opportunity with the Carolina Panthers, but the former Jets quarterback admits “it stings a little bit” to be discarded just three seasons into his NFL career.
“To go from being unwanted to being wanted is huge,” Darnold said, according to the Panthers’ team website. “Getting that news that you’re going to be traded, of a team saying, ‘Hey, we didn’t want you,” for whatever reason, is hard.
“But right now, I feel great about it, and I’m excited to get here, and get started.”
The Jets, who finished 2-14 last season, are expected to select BYU quarterback Zach Wilson with the second overall pick in this year’s draft after dealing the 23-year-old Darnold to the Panthers last week.
“Those conversations were tough. I imagined I was going to be the franchise quarterback of the New York Jets for a long time,” Darnold said. “And once you realize that the team that drafted you is moving on, it stings a little bit.”
That sting is lessened, Darnold said, by the prospect of playing alongside star running back Christian McCaffrey and former Jets teammate Robby Anderson. Anderson posted career highs with 95 receptions for 1,096 yards in 2020 under Carolina head coach Matt Rhule.
“There’s a little bit of both — relief and excitement,” Darnold said. “There’s been so much uncertainty this offseason, not knowing what your future was going to look like, that was hard. But now that I’m in Charlotte, I’m excited, and yeah, I guess I am kind of relieved to be here.
“The culture that’s being set here is amazing. That’s probably the part that intrigues me the most about this.”
Since acquiring Darnold, the Panthers have granted incumbent quarterback Teddy Bridgewater permission to seek a trade. He has two seasons remaining on the three-year, $63 million deal he signed in 2020.
The Panthers sent a sixth-rounder in 2021 and a second and fourth in 2022 in exchange for Darnold.
This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Peter Botte