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Carolina Panthers trade for Jets quarterback Sam Darnold
AP

Carolina Panthers trade for Jets quarterback Sam Darnold

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Sam Darnold #14 of the New York Jets makes a pass against the New England Patriots in the first half at Gillette Stadium on January 3, 2021, in Foxborough, Mass.

Sam Darnold #14 of the New York Jets makes a pass against the New England Patriots in the first half at Gillette Stadium on January 3, 2021, in Foxborough, Mass. (Kathryn Riley/Getty Images/TNS)

The Carolina Panthers have traded for quarterback Sam Darnold, per a league source. The team sent a 2021 sixth-round pick, a 2022 second-round pick and a 2022 fourth-round pick to the New York Jets in exchange for the quarterback.

The sixth-round pick is No. 226, the last of Carolina’s picks in this year’s draft. The team still has seven picks to work with in 2021.

The Panthers have been searching for an answer at quarterback after a mixed performance by Teddy Bridgewater last season. He had been signed to a three-year, $63 million deal last offseason. Teams had expressed interest in trading for the quarterback earlier in the offseason. It is unlikely that he remains on the roster for the $26 million he currently is scheduled to account for.

If the Panthers are forced to release Bridgewater, the lowest he could cost against this year’s cap is $15 million if he is a post-June 1 designation. The other quarterbacks on the roster include P.J. Walker, Will Grier and Tommy Stevens.

Darnold, 23, was selected third overall by the Jets in the 2018 NFL draft. He has started each of the last three seasons, going 13-25 in starts, and has one year remaining on his contract. He will be reunited with former Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson.

The team will have until May 3 to decide whether or not to pick up Darnold’s fifth-year option, which would cost about $18 million in 2022.

In his career, Darnold has completed 59.8% of his passes for 8,097 yards, 45 touchdowns and 39 interceptions. He has been sacked 98 times.

The Panthers were interested in acquiring quarterback Deshaun Watson, however, recent sexual assault allegations have stalled league-wide interest in the Houston Texans’ star. Carolina holds the No. 8 pick in the 2021 NFL draft with as many as four quarterbacks expected to be selected prior to that pick. The team was also involved in trade conversations for now-Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford at the beginning of the offseason.

2021 NFL Mock Draft: Trades shake up first round

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The question is no longer if the Houston Texans will trade Deshaun Watson before the 2021 season, but rather if the NFL will allow Watson to participate at all in the 2021 season. The league is formally investigating Watson — the Texans quarterback accused by some two dozen massage therapists of sexual assault and inappropriate behavior, including two who on Tuesday revealed their identity and ...

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