Patriots: Here’s the sole reason a Sam Darnold trade makes sense for New England
By Jerry Trotta
There hasn’t been much buzz regarding the New England Patriots’ search for a quarterback, but you have to think talks will heat up between now and the start of the new league year.
If a trade is something that intrigues the front office, one will likely have to be completed before the draft so there isn’t a shortage of picks available during negotiations.
Therefore, fans can at least take solace in the fact that the conundrum will be resolved within the next two months.
A long, lonely two months.
Given the lack of options in this year’s free agency class, coupled with the fact that the draft is largely a crap shoot, orchestrating a trade appears to be the Patriots’ most logical course of action if they want to get back into the playoffs next season.
Though trading within the division is a dying practice, Sam Darnold has been mentioned as a potential solution for the Patriots. The former No. 3 overall pick has underwhelmed over his first three seasons, but history has proven with Ryan Tannehill that getting away from Adam Gase is the ultimate elixir for a struggling quarterback.
Sam Darnold’s potential without Adam Gase as his coach makes him a smart option for the Patriots.
It’s duly noted that the Jets fired Gase at the start of the offseason, but perhaps a move away from the organization entirely is what Darnold needs to jumpstart his career. The fact that he wouldn’t have to deal with his former head coach anymore is just an added bonus.
Take another gander at Tannehill’s numbers with and without Gase as the guy pulling the string of his offense and try to tell us that Darnold couldn’t undergo a similar transformation. Speaking strictly in terms of arm talent and mobility, the two quarterbacks are eerily similar.
What we admittedly don’t know about Tannehill however, is how much of his resurgence has to do with the Titans’ scheme and personnel. The 32-year-old vet has the luxury of not only playing alongside the league’s most potent rushing attack, but he also throws to an absolutely loaded receiving corps, which is highlighted by budding superstar AJ Brown.
The Patriots pale in comparison as far as the luxuries they can offer Darnold, but the $68 million they have in cap space this offseason can go a long way in terms of becoming a more attractive destination for quarterbacks. Their running game is fine the way it is, so all that’s left to do is add a bonafide No. 1 wideout and a starting-caliber tight end.
Again, Darnold was so highly rated coming out of USC three years ago that maybe he doesn’t even need a loaded offense to be successful. If you remember, he was more than serviceable as a rookie and fell off over the last two seasons with Gase as his head coach.
There’s no doubting that Darnold still has a ton to prove from a decision-making standpoint, but the Patriots can do a lot worse than trading for a 23-year-old on the fourth year of his rookie deal who is itching for a chance to show a team what we can do without Gase holding him back.