Sam Darnold Trade Rumors: 49ers Not Expected to Pursue Deal for Jets QB

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 13, 2021

FILE - New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold rolls out to pass against the New England Patriots in the first half of an NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass., in this Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, file photo. The 23-year-old quarterback was considered an untouchable player on the roster only a year ago. General manager Joe Douglas has backed off that stance, though, and it could signal a major change at the position as free agency and the NFL draft approach. “I will answer the call if it's made,” Douglas said Wednesday, March 3, 2021, when asked if he'd listen to offers for Darnold from other teams. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)
Charles Krupa/Associated Press

The San Francisco 49ers are not expected to be among the trade partners for New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold.

"The response I've received on the Sam Darnold situation is, 'Do not expect the 49ers to be in it,'" NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said on the Murph and Mac Podcast. "Maybe it could change. I guess, theoretically, anything is possible. I never rule anything out in this ridiculous, stupid world. I do not expect the 49ers, as of my knowledge right now, to be in it."

The Jets have seemingly not made a decision on Darnold's future as they assess their options with the second pick in April's draft. Conventional wisdom says they will select BYU's Zach Wilson at No. 2 and then deal Darnold, their 2018 first-round pick.

However, the Jets have yet to tip their hand even though several teams have made moves at quarterback. Darnold was highly touted out of USC but has failed to live up to expectations, thanks in part to the Jets' mismanagement in picking coaches and personnel. Some teams may view Darnold as a reclamation project who could thrive in a better situation.

The 49ers, also in the market for a quarterback upgrade, apparently do not view Darnold as better than Jimmy Garoppolo. While there has been speculation about Garoppolo's future with the franchise, 49ers general manager John Lynch said the team is focused on finding a better backup and hoping Jimmy G stays healthy.

"Being available is a big part of this thing," Lynch said on The Eye Test for Two podcast (h/t Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk). "So we—probably as a stated goal—we have to insulate ourselves better. We've got to have better options if he's not there.

"I've watched people go through this in their careers where they struggled early. It happened to me early, and then I went eight years without missing a practice. So I believe things can happen, and I believe they will for him. I really believe that Jimmy is our guy."

The 49ers are 22-8 with Garoppolo as their starter over the last four seasons.


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