Potential trades were floated for months leading up to the team's decision to finally ship him to the NFC. Now that he's gone, former teammates are suggesting it was the Jets who have ruined his career thus far.
Five-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman Ryan Kalil made it very clear Adam Gase's offense didn't allow Darnold to flourish.
"It was a system that didn't allow a lot of individual freedom," Kalil said of Darnold's time with the Jets. "It was very, 'You do it this way and that's it.'"
Here's more of what he said, via CBS Sports:
"A lot of the scheme was pre-determined based on what they thought they were seeing from the sideline. It didn't give Sam a lot of room to grow, in my opinion, to make decisions on the fly. It worked in some instances, but it handicapped him in the long run."
The Jets are expected to use the No. 2 pick on former BYU quarterback Zach Wilson - who put on a show at his pro day. However, Kalil thinks Darnold can make all of the same throws.
"Everybody ooh'd and ahh'd about (Zach Wilson) at BYU's pro day when he rolled out left and threw across to the right," Kalil said. "And it's like, I've seen Sam do that a million times. It's funny, there's game tape of Sam doing that exact thing."
Darnold will have the chance to prove Kalil right if he can turn things around in Carolina.