The Carolina Panthers won the Sam Darnold sweepstakes on Monday, sending three picks to the New York Jets in order to acquire the 23-year-old. But, they weren’t the only organization to show interest in the young quarterback.
According to a report from Ian Rapoport, the Washington Football Team and the San Fransisco 49ers also took a “hard look” at Darnold this offseason, prior to the start of free agency. The NFL Network insider claimed that Washington discussed a potential move and the 49ers went as far as to inquire about what it would take to get a deal done.
But ultimately, both Washington and San Fransisco asked about Darnold too early in the process. Per Rapoport, the Jets weren’t ready to make a move and settled with the Panthers after the generous offer.
Note on the #Jets trade of Sam Darnold to the #Panthers: Prior to FA, two teams to take a hard look at Darnold were the #49ers and WFT, sources say. Washington had conversations about it & SF inquired about what it would take to happen, tho NYJ wasn’t ready to make a move yet.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 7, 2021
Both franchises have since made moves to seemingly address their quarterback situations for 2021.
The Washington Football Team signed 38-year-old Ryan Fitzpatrick to a one-year deal in free agency, giving the room a veteran presence. With Kyle Allen expected to be back from injury, Washington seems content headed into next season.
The 49ers still have a bit of work to do, but made the most notable draft-related trade so far this offseason. The NFC West club sent a package of picks to the Miami Dolphins in order to vault up to the No. 3 spot in this year’s draft. In doing so, Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch will be in the perfect position to take one of the many strong quarterback prospects in late April.
Meanwhile, the Panthers ended up with Darnold, but still could be in the market for another quarterback at the draft. Carolina general manager Scott Fitterer claimed that the team won’t be “out of the mix” with the eighth pick.
Buckle up NFL fans, it’s sure to be an exciting next few weeks.