The New York Jets are having yet another terrible year with Adam Gase at the head. Sam Darnold, a quarterback once seen as one of the most promising in the league, has not improved after another year under Gase's tutelage. It's hard to say how much of that is Darnold's when Gase's inability to get the best out of his players has been abundantly clear, but either way, it's hard to feel optimistic about Darnold after a year and a half of poor play.
It is tempting to wonder what Darnold might be like when he isn't playing for Gase and Gang Green. Much of what made him an attractive prospect to begin is still there, and sometimes a change of scenery is all a player needs in order to succeed. Colin Cowherd discussed that very idea today with Jay Glazer on The Herd ahead of the 4 p.m. NFL trade deadline. Glazer said there would be a market for Darnold, but he does not believe the Jets would get very much in exchange for 2018's No. 3 overall pick.
That is surprising to hear because good NFL quarterbacks are at a premium all the time in the league, and while Darnold isn't there yet, the fact that he went top-five in the draft only two years ago suggests he has the talent and skill to make it to that point. Yet, according to one of the NFL's most plugged-in media members, his value has dropped so much under Gase that the Jets wouldn't be able to recoup anything near the value they used to get him in the first place.
In 2020, Darnold has thrown for 1,045 yards and three touchdowns to go with six interceptions while completing 58.6 percent of his passes. He's missed two games due to injury. It has been a bad season, but it's also not all Darnold's fault. 2020 second-rounder Denzel Mims saw the field for the first time in Week 7. Jamison Crowder has been available and is pretty good but nowhere near a No. 1 receiver. The offensive line has alternated between being very hurt and very bad. Then there's the Gase factor, which cannot be discounted. Everything from scheme to protection has been working against Darnold, and the result is the worst team in football.
Darnold, still only 23-years-old, is far from a finished product. Quite literally anywhere would be an improvement over his current situation. All that is why it's shocking to hear that the Jets wouldn't get much for him. Young, highly-drafted players with potential and a team that clearly is failing them are usually the prize of any trade market. But not Darnold. If he does leave New York, which is looking more and more likely, the Jets can't expect a first-round pick in return, and whoever trades for him might find themselves on the better side of a discounted deal.