Sam Darnold Trade Rumors: 49ers, WFT Contacted Jets About QB Before Free Agency

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVApril 7, 2021

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold warms up before an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
AP Photo/Charles Krupa

The San Francisco 49ers and Washington Football Team both took a "hard look" at a potential trade for Sam Darnold before he was dealt to the Carolina Panthers, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Rapoport noted the Jets weren't ready to make a deal when San Francisco inquired about the cost.

Darnold was traded to the Panthers on Monday in exchange for three draft picks, including a second-rounder in 2022.

Like the Jets, the 49ers seemingly plan to find their next quarterback through the draft after trading up from No. 12 to No. 3.

Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated reported in March that the 49ers "did have some internal discussion on Sam Darnold" before moving up in the first round, also noting the Jets didn't plan to deal the No. 2 overall pick.

With Trevor Lawrence expected to go No. 1 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Jets are widely expected to take Zach Wilson at No. 2. The 49ers would then presumably have an option between Alabama's Mac Jones, Ohio State's Justin Fields and North Dakota State's Trey Lance with the third pick.

Meanwhile, Washington filled its hole under center by signing veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick. It also re-signed Taylor Heinicke, who is expected to compete for the starting job in training camp.

The team could still target a future franchise quarterback in the draft, but it could be a long wait until the 19th pick in the first round.

Carolina will hope to get the most out of Darnold, who was the No. 3 pick in the 2018 draft.