In June, the New York Jets announced their training camp schedule for 2018. Rookies reported on July 24th and veteran players reported July 26th. PSL/Club Holders were able to attend training camp on Saturday, July 28th at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center (AHJTC).
Absent from training camp, as all Jets fan know, was Sam Darnold, who had yet to sign his rookie contract. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports it's not unusual for rookies to have last minute contract hassles.
Let's take a look at who's the winners and losers in this little snafu in my opinion.
Of course, Sam Darnold is the winner. According to reports, Darnold will receive a $20 million dollar signing bonus, and on July 30th he signed a four year, fully guaranteed contract with the New York Jets worth a hefty $30.2 million dollars. Head Coach Todd Bowles was asked after the signing about Darnold being at practice for the first time. He remarked, "He was late. That's about it. First day of camp for him, it looked like the first day of camp. He'll get some studying in and he'll catch up." Yea, I guess he was exhausted jumping up and down with excitement after signing a rich rookie contract and it took him a long time to get from the AHJTC conference room to the practice field.
The New York Jets are also winners, as Darnold is now cemented in as the #3 quarterback in the Jets line-up, at least for now. On July 30th, Todd Bowles was asked about the quarterback competition in his press conference. He replied, "Josh (McCown) is one, Teddy (Bridgewater) is two, Sam is three. The competition has been underway, it didn't just start today, it started on Thursday when we reported for camp."
Bowles was also asked if the team was now "whole" with Darnold being signed, and he said, "We're always whole. You come in and get hurt the first day and you're down you lost him, whether it's him or any other player." Darnold didn't want to get on the practice field before he had everything wrapped up with his contract just in case of injury.
The New York Jets fans and PSL/Club Holders are also winners, needless to say. After years of dismal losing seasons, PSL/Club Holders were in dire straits if they tried to sell their seats. There were no takers at full price; the value of the PSL was way down in the resale market. This rookie may be just what the fans ordered to increase the market for season tickets.
O.K., now the losers. The New York Jets are once again the losers, in my opinion, as it appears they have pinned their hopes on a rookie from USC. This is not a rookie who even finished his Junior or Senior year playing college football. He was a redshirt Sophomore, albeit one with several USC freshman records. In his 2017 season, Darnold did help the USC team get the chance to play the 2017 Cotton Bowl. But, he had trouble with throwing a number of interceptions and holding onto the ball during his career at USC. If this will be an ongoing problem in the NFL is yet to be seen.
The New York Jets fans are the losers once again as we start the 2018-2019 season with a 39 year old quarterback as the starter for now, the #2 starter QB Teddy Bridgewater coming back after missing all of his 2016 season with a torn ACL and the #3 starter a hot shot rookie QB. If #1 and #2 fall by the wayside, will Darnold be ready?
Yet on the positive side, we did go to the AFC Championship game two years in a row with rookie Mark Sanchez. We just never went further.
Let's flip a coin, heads we win, tails we lose. It's all part of the game.