BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - DECEMBER 12: Quarterback Sam Darnold #14 of the New York Jets prepares for the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on December 12, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland.
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

A report from Sports Illustrated indicates that eight teams have contacted the New York Jets about the status of the embattled Sam Darnold.

As another week begins for the New York Jets, the Sam Darnold roller-coaster is about to reach another hill.

According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, eight teams have inquired about the services of the embattled Jets quarterback, whose status remains a talking point as the commencement of the NFL free agency period looms. Breer also reports that the Jets are performing their due diligence in analyzing who exactly will hold the starting quarterback position for the 2021 season.

Team personnel, a combo of Robert Saleh, Joe Douglas, and/or Mike LaFleur), is expected to attend the pro days of draft prospects Trey Lance, Zach Wilson, and Justin Fields. While Lance’s is set to be held on Friday, Fields won’t come until March 31.

Breer does note that while the Jets want to see the rookie throwers before they make a decision on Darnold, they won’t hesitate to speed up the process if they can find a worthy partner to work with.

He also lists San Francisco, Washington, and Chicago as teams that would be interested in a long-term veteran starting quarterback, as the top prospects would likely be gone by the time they choose in April.

“Chicago and Washington … aren’t in striking distance to draft one of the top guys and may not think developing a rookie, given where they’re at, is the best play,” Breer notes. “San Francisco would be even more fascinating. Darnold’s a strong fit for Kyle Shanahan’s offense, and trading for him would make the Niners six years younger, and $20 million cheaper at the position in 2020. The Niners like Jimmy Garoppolo, as we’ve said here, and won’t move off him without a clear upgrade. Could Darnold be that?”

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The 49ers, Football Team, and Bears respectively pick 12th, 19th, and 20th in the upcoming 2021 NFL draft in Cleveland.

Washington and Chicago, participants in the NFC wild-card playoffs, are looking for new starters, having announced their plans to move on from Alex Smith and Mitchell Trubisky, respectively.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags


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