Sam Darnold Trade Rumors: WFT Interested in Jets QB After Fitzpatrick Contract

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 16, 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 Washington Football Team may have reportedly signed Ryan Fitzpatrick, but it might not be done addressing its quarterback position. 

According to Connor Hughes of The Athletic, Washington "has not ruled out a trade for Sam Darnold." Hughes added that a trade is a "bit more unlikely now, obviously, as WFT won't be willing to go as high as others in draft compensation, but they still have interest in the New York Jets quarterback."

There are conflicting reports about just how serious Washington's potential interest might be in Darnold:

Dianna Russini @diannaESPN

I spoke to a source in Washington about the possibility of the WFT trading with the Jets for QB Sam Darnold. I was simply told “don’t waste your time”

Kim Jones of the NFL Network added that the Jets have been "taking calls" from Darnold suitors but that Washington "won't be interested" after the Fitzgerald signing. 

Washington will likely go into training camp with Fitzpatrick and Kyle Allen competing for the starting job, with Fitzpatrick the favorite in that battle. Here's how Darnold's 2020 stats compared to each of them:

  • Darnold: 2,208 passing yards, nine touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 59.6 completion percentage, 2-10 record as New York's starter. 
  • Fitzpatrick: 2,091 yards, 13 touchdowns, eight interceptions, 68.5 completion percentage, 4-3 record as the Miami Dolphins' starter. 
  • Allen: 610 yards, four touchdowns, one interception, 69 completion percentage, 1-3 record as Washington's starter. 

One thing to monitor in Washington is whether the team uses a draft pick this offseason on a young quarterback. Fitzpatrick's one-year, $10 million deal has all the makings of a bridge year in Washington, making it likely they'll groom someone behind him, whether that's Allen or an incoming draft pick. 

Perhaps the team will keep Darnold on its radar, but it seems unlikely he'll be wearing burgundy and gold next season.