Carolina Panthers GM Wants Sam Darnold to Forget New York Nightmare

Published 05/07/2021, 4:52 PM EDT
Sep 27, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) drops back to pass the ball in the first half against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports


New York Jets parted ways with former 1st-round pick Sam Darnold this summer. The former USC quarterback was traded to the Carolina Panthers for 3 future picks.

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Darnold will be the first-choice option for coach Matt Rhule as the Panthers gear up for a crunch season in the NFL this year.

Dec 20, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass during the third quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The California-born youngster has thrown for 8,097 passing yards with 45 passing TDs during his 3-year stay in New York. He further rushed for 417 yards with 5 rushing TDs in 38 starts for the Jets.

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Darnold will turn 24 next month and he has an opportunity to turn his NFL career around with the Panthers. But what does the organization think about him? Here’s what GM Scott Fitterer has to say.

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Sam Darnold tipped for an immediate impact with Carolina Panthers

Fitterer featured on the latest segment of the SiriusXM NFL Radio show earlier this year. He spoke about Carolina’s short-term plans this season and the expectations from latest recruit, Sam Darnold.

“We went out and traded for Sam because we saw the talent on tape. We think we can help him. We want him to kind of just flush what’s happened. He’s only 23 years old. He played in a big media market, high-round pick.

“Just come here, let the players down here help you out. We surrounded him with a lot of good talent at receiver, we have the best running back in football, we’re going to have a really strong offensive line, and we’ve added to our defense. All of that plays together.

“He doesn’t just have to do it by himself. He just has to be Sam and work with [offensive coordinator] Joe [Brady], work with Sean Ryan, our quarterbacks coach.

“Don’t try to make the big plays, don’t try to go outside of himself. Just play football. Play it fast, play it loose and let the guys make plays with you,” Fitterer said on the show.

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Darnold showed flashes of brilliance during his time with the Jets. But he needs to elevate his performance in 2021 and maintain a certain level of consistency as well.

He will need some help from the likes of RB Christian McCaffrey, WR DJ Moore, and WR Robby Anderson in the coming weeks. Is it possible that Darnold turns out to be a hidden gem? Of course, but the odds of him turning out to be a flop are equally possible. Watch this space for more.

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Daniel Arambur

1594 articles

Daniel Arambur is an NFL writer and content strategist for EssentiallySports.With more than 1,000 articles, he is one of the senior writers in the NFL cohort at ES. A mass media graduate from the University of Mumbai, Daniel has found the perfect blend of vocation and passion in the sports content niche.

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