LOS ANGELES — Speculation swirls day-after-day about what’s going to occur with Sam Darnold. Will he nonetheless be enjoying with the Jets in 2021? Will he be traded? Everyone needs to know.
Meanwhile, the topic of that countless sports-radio dialogue quietly goes about his offseason enterprise round dwelling in Southern California.
According to shut confidants, Darnold, who’s three years right into a Jets profession that’s been something however successful since he was drafted No. 3-overall in 2018, has been dealing with his profession uncertainty with the identical level-headed maturity that he’s dealt with the on-field adversity.
Jordan Palmer is a long-time good friend of Darnold’s and he’s additionally his offseason quarterback coach, the founding father of the QB Summit, a extensively heralded coaching program that has helped develop the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson and Josh Allen.
Palmer, in an unique interview with The Post throughout a break from considered one of his seaside coaching periods this previous weekend in Dana Point, Calif., stays extremely bullish on the profession of Darnold.
“I’m as biased because it will get, however I’m going to maintain it [bleeping] actual right here: I’ve extra confidence in Sam at this level in his profession that he’s going to achieve his potential than I did three years in the past,’’ Palmer stated. “He’s been hardened by how tough his first three years have been and a number of the challenges that’s he’s had. I’ve seen him develop a ton with that with the best way he’s dealt with it.
“These are new conditions for him. He hadn’t been on a staff that’s not profitable. He’s at all times been a extremely good participant on a extremely good staff. And that’s not how the primary three years with the Jets have shaken out.
Sam DarnoldUPI“I imagine that Sam’s one of the vital proficient younger quarterbacks within the league, and like all good, proficient quarterbacks he’s acquired to have an enormous offseason and acquired to enhance.’’
Palmer praised how Darnold has completed the previous two seasons, going 6-2 within the last eight video games of 2019 after the staff began 1-7 and going 2-1 final season after the 0-13 begin.
“My brand is a summit, a mountain vary,’’ Palmer stated. “That’s your journey. I haven’t seen one quarterback that goes proper from backside to the highest — good, superior, on the finish you get the championship and all the cash and the congrats. What guys need to do is navigate their journey.’’
Former Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez is one other shut confidante of Darnold’s who additionally has been skilled by Palmer and nonetheless works with him occasionally. Sanchez stated his curiosity within the Jets stays eager “due to Sam.’’
“He’s my neighbor, I really like the child and I need him to do nicely … and he’s within the thick of it,’’ Sanchez instructed The Post. “I’ve actually been the place he’s at — banged-up shoulder, attempting to battle by way of accidents, is he enjoying, is he not enjoying? We form of have some eerily-similar conditions — two youngsters that grew up proper down the road from one another.’’
The arc of Sanchez’s profession was fairly the other of Darnold’s to this point in that Sanchez had his finest success early and struggled later. Sanchez’s hope is that Darnold’s profession is an inverted model of his.
“We got here into the league to 2 very totally different groups,’’ Sanchez stated. “Sam was drafted excessive as a result of the staff was not good the yr earlier than. I used to be drafted excessive as a result of they traded up for me and so they had been 9-7 the yr earlier than I acquired there. So, I acquired to go to a staff that had a whole lot of expertise and a fantastic offensive line.’’
Sanchez stated he’s continuously “providing a few of my recommendation’’ to Darnold, reminding him, “Dude, I’m right here for you.’’
Sanchez, like Palmer, is satisfied Darnold’s finest soccer is forward of him, however he believes that will finest include a change of surroundings. Sanchez has lived in a Jets world the place perceptions among the many followers develop into cemented and can’t be outlived.
Sanchez, nevertheless, believes Darnold needs to stay with the Jets, get his new begin with the brand new teaching regime, head coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur.
Palmer is torn on that subject.
“Part of me needs Sam to complete what he began and get it proper, and a part of me would like to see him get a change of surroundings, as a result of I’ve seen that work so nicely for others,’’ Palmer stated. “This league is a right-place-right-time league and a wrong-place-wrong-time league. The proper man in the suitable scenario has acquired an opportunity to be within the combine on the finish.
“With Sam, it simply hasn’t occurred but, and it’ll. And I can actually say that right-place-right-time could possibly be this yr with the Jets. Or it could possibly be some other place.’’