The New York Jets claim they still have a three-way battle for their starting quarterback job, but it seems like the team is already leaning toward Sam Darnold.
When the New York Jets made the decision to take Sam Darnold with the No. 3 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft it was obvious they believed he would be their quarterback of the future. What wasn’t so apparent, is that the former USC signal caller also is building a strong case to the be team’s quarterback of the present as well.
Offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates is doing everything he can to drown his rookie quarterback with information. To date, he’s been unsuccessful. Bates admits that Darnold “has been able to handle” everything the coaching staff has thrown at him so far.
That’s bad news for Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater. McCown entered camp with hopes of hanging on to his starting job. He likely knew Darnold would replace him eventually, but keeping him at bay this season was a reasonable goal. It now seems that McCown will be forced to give way sooner than he hoped.
It might be an even tougher pill for Bridgewater to swallow. He’s recovered from a horrific leg injury to impress many observers during OTAs. In fact, he’s played so well that he might emerge as a valuable trade chip for the team if another team’s starter suffers an injury during the preseason.
Darnold’s development is absolutely a positive for the Jets organization though. The sooner they can get him on the field the sooner he can become a quality NFL quarterback. It’s been a while since the Jets have had a promising young signal caller to plan their future around. No, Mark Sanchez does not count.
The challenge for Bowles and company now is to make sure they still do their best to protect Darnold. Just because he proves he can process a ton of information doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. Allowing him to learn the offense at a slower pace might be better for his long-term future in the Big Apple.
Sam Darnold might not be the Jets’ starting quarterback Week One, but it shouldn’t shock anyone if he is. It’s only a matter of time before he takes the reins of the New York offense.