Think about, should you dare, Sam Darnold in one other uniform.
How in regards to the Jets’ presumed franchise quarterback sporting the black and gold of a Steelers uniform?
Or Darnold sporting the horseshoe on his helmet with the Colts or enjoying for John Elway’s Broncos or the Jaguars or …
… how about Darnold as a Patriot?
In case you don’t suppose any of those situations can occur, you’re not paying a whole lot of consideration to the goings-on with the Jets in the intervening time — the 0-6 Jets, who’re almost a two-touchdown underdog at house Sunday to the Payments, and who received’t be favored to win one other recreation this season.
If the Jets end 0-16, right here’s a assure extra rock-solid than the one Joe Namath delivered whereas poolside in 1969 earlier than Tremendous Bowl III: They’ll have the No. 1 total choose within the 2021 draft.
And common supervisor Joe Douglas, who’s within the early levels of a six-year contract and making an attempt to construct one thing with the Jets, didn’t draft Darnold. Douglas would possibly like Darnold. He would possibly imagine in Darnold. However that doesn’t mean he’d rather have Darnold than Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
Solely Douglas really is aware of whether or not, with the No. 1 total draft choose in pocket, he would decide to commerce out of the highest spot, purchase extra picks and construct round Darnold, or go all in on Lawrence.
The sensible cash could be on Douglas drafting Lawrence.
If that’s the case, then what of Darnold, the No. 3 total choose in 2018 and the supposed savior for the Jets?
He’ll get one other alternative. And likelihood is that chance would include a workforce with extra expertise than Darnold has had round him with the Jets for the previous three seasons.
In case you’re a Jets fan value your inexperienced and white, you already know what’s going to occur: Darnold goes to excel elsewhere.
Dolphins followers have needed to watch with queasy stomachs whereas Ryan Tannehill has grow to be among the finest quarterbacks within the NFL since went from Adam Gase’s Dolphins to the Titans.
Gase, the Jets coach the previous two seasons, coached Tannehill from 2016-18 whereas he was the Dolphins coach. Tannehill was a middle-of-the-road quarterback underneath Gase, posting a 13-11 report, throwing 36 touchdowns and 21 interceptions.
Tannehill went to Tennessee and led the Titans to the AFC Championship recreation final season. He has a 12-3 report with the Titans whereas throwing for 35 touchdowns to simply eight interceptions with a gaudy 116.0 passer ranking.
This season, the Titans are 5-0 coming into Sunday’s showdown with the Steelers (5-0) and, for many who need to pin that success on working again Derrick Henry (who’s having an MVP-type season), Tannehill has thrown 13 landing passes to 2 interceptions, and is averaging 274 passing yards per recreation.
In case you’re a Jets fan and don’t suppose Darnold can have the sort of success Tannehill has had if he leaves the Jets, you merely don’t know.
In his two-plus seasons, Darnold has had extra offensive line mixtures than Baskin-Robbins has ice cream flavors and fewer harmful skill-position gamers than Gase has present supporters amongst Jets followers.
His first offensive coordinator, Jeremy Bates, was out of soccer for 5 years earlier than he got here to the Jets and has been out of soccer since he was fired after the 2018 season. His previous two seasons have been underneath the teaching and offensive system of Gase, whose offensive prowess appears to be questioned by everyone other than Jets CEO Christopher Johnson.
In different phrases: Darnold has drawn a really quick straw since being drafted by the Jets.
“What number of video games has he had with the group we put collectively to start out the season? I believe there [were] some video games the place it’s virtually unfair to evaluate him,’’ Gase stated Wednesday.
“I completely suppose Sam is getting higher,’’ Jets offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains stated Thursday. “I don’t suppose it’s honest to judge him at this level.’’
Three seasons in with the Jets, we’re nonetheless unsure how good Darnold could be. However this appears extra sure: Darnold doesn’t look like broken items the best way Mark Sanchez was by the point he was completed with the Jets.
Perhaps the perfect factor that might occur to Darnold could be the Jets drafting Lawrence.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, 38, has hinted about retirement for the previous couple seasons.
Philip Rivers is also 38 and has regarded shaky at instances this season, making you marvel how for much longer would possibly he play in Indianapolis?
Are the Broncos actually bought on Drew Lock, Jeff Driskel or Brett Rypien as their future?
Gardner Minshew’s star seems to have dimmed significantly in Jacksonville.
And, has Cam Newton regarded like the perfect quarterback to guide the Patriots?
Darnold and Invoice Belichick. Think about that. Crazier issues have occurred.
It’s going to be an fascinating offseason for the Jets, who too usually are extra fascinating within the offseason than they’re in season.