When Sam Darnold entered the NFL as the third overall pick of the 2018 draft, he was attached to expectations that he would develop into the franchise quarterback that the Jets have been trying to find for four decades.
Injuries, illness, coaching changes, lackluster drafts, ineffective play and assorted other calamities kept Darnold from reaching that level and led to the trade that sent him to the Panthers ahead of this year’s draft. Moving on from the Jets would seem to take a burden off of Darnold’s back, but he said on Tuesday that his expectations for himself haven’t shifted.
“It depends on how you see it,” Darnold said, via Darin Gantt of the team’s website. “I’ve always had high expectations for myself, first and foremost. Expectations outside of that, to be honest, besides my teammates and my coaches, it doesn’t mean a whole lot. I think for me, it’s about what we expect as a team, what we expect to win, and for me, it’s about completing the ball and getting the team down the field and scoring touchdowns. That’s all I care about. As long as we do that and I do my job, we’re all good.”
Darnold said that it has been “a seamless transition” to his new team thus far. Bumps in the road are likely to come, but the hope in Carolina is that a stronger supporting cast and the experience Darnold gained with the Jets will lead to better results in his fourth NFL season.