In his first statements since Robert Saleh’s hiring, New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas kept things calm on the Sam Darnold front.
Speaking publicly for the first time since the Robert Saleh era began, New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas provided no further clarity on the team’s quarterback situation but seemed pleased with their current trajectory.
Appearing alongside Saleh on Zoom, Douglas began by declaring that his views on quarterback Sam Darnold haven’t shifted since the 2020 season ended. Darnold, the second quarterback taken in the 2018 NFL draft, is currently on pace to enter his fourth season as the Jets’ primary quarterback.
Joe Douglas on how he and the team feels about Sam Darnold:
"Our stance on Sam [Darnold] hasn't changed. … We have no doubt that Sam is going to achieve his outstanding potential." #TakeFlight
— Robby Sabo (@RobbySabo) March 3, 2021
“Our stance on Sam [Darnold] hasn’t changed,” Douglas said of Darnold, per Jets X-Factor’s Robby Sabo. “He’s an extremely talented player. [He’s] very smart, very tough, and we have no doubt Sam is going to achieve his outstanding potential.”
Douglas, always the cautious, forward-thinking general manager, also made sure to hit on the idea that they’re still going through the rigorous offseason process.
“Obviously, we’re in the process of gaining as much information as we can, leading up through free agency and the draft,” Douglas added. “But our stance on Sam has not changed.”
Discussion around Darnold’s future has hit a fever pitch in recent weeks, especially with elite, disgruntled throwing talents like Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson reportedly hitting the trade block.
Much like he did when the Jamal Adams saga was at its most chaotic, Douglas made it clear he’s willing to have conversations with other teams should they reach out.
“I will answer the call if it’s made,” Douglas said, keeping the relative peace. He also insisted that the cloudiness around the quarterback situation won’t hurt the team in terms of courting other free agents.
“Sam is, we think, a dynamic player with unbelievable talent,” Douglas added. “Like I said earlier, if calls are made, I will answer them.”
Whether or not Joe Douglas is speaking the Jets gospel or simply playing the smart business game is for the entirety of the NFL to decide.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags