We all knew what the goal of the Jets was this season; it was to get Trevor Lawrence #1 in the draft. In Week 15, they defeated the Rams in a game where they had no business winning in the first place. This would virtually ruin their chances of getting Lawrence. To add to that, the next week, they went out and defeated the Cleveland Browns, which virtually clinched them out of the #1 draft spot. For Jets fans, this may seem like the worst-case scenario, but there is a lot to look forward to for this team, and it starts with the large amount of draft capital they have.
The Jets will now draft in the #2 spot, and will also have the #25 spot. After the game Justin Fields had against Clemson the other night, many people would assume the Jets will be all over that, and to tell you the truth, they should be. Sam Darnold still has one year left on his deal with the Jets, but if they trade him this offseason, they may be able to get a reasonable amount back for him, including more draft picks, a first-round even.
There are no doubt teams will be asking the Jets about Darnold before, during, and after the draft. Teams like the Steelers, Colts, and maybe even the Patriots could be interested in him, after all, he is still a first-round talent.
What should the Jets do?
The Jets should draft Justin Fields because they have already seen a large sample size of Sam Darnold over the past three years. It’s not that Sam is a bad QB because he isn’t. To me, he still has the qualities to be the best QB in that draft class like I originally projected him to be. He just doesn’t seem to have a fixable and well-functioning relationship with the Jets at this point, which means both sides should move on for the better sake of each other.
If the Jets take Fields, it could be a win-win for them. They could draft another offensive lineman with their other first-round pick and can have a better roster next year. Another positive turnout from this decision could be them not having to pay Darnold. Another team will come in and pay for him, and they will still have a very talented Justin Fields on a rookie contract.
This is the reality of the NFL. Quarterbacks, despite how talented they may be, do not last very long if they don’t perform up to their standards. Darnold and Fields could be set up to have two very successful careers in the NFL, just on different teams. If the Jets want to stay relevant and actually start to produce winning football, they need to roll the dice on Fields in the draft and take whatever offer is best for Darnold. They could really have three to four first-round picks if they make the right moves this offseason before the draft. This will be very important for the Jets to take the next step!