Prior to their big trade-up move to grab the third overall pick from the Dolphins, the 49ers talked to the Jets about Sam Darnold.
According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, the San Francisco 49ers had some conversations with the New York Jets regarding Sam Darnold prior to making a trade with the Miami Dolphins to acquire the third overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft.
The Niners have close ties to the Jets staff. [GM John] Lynch and Jets GM Joe Douglas are friendly, and of course [HC Mike] Shanahan is new Jets coach Robert Saleh’s old boss. The Niners did have some internal discussion on Sam Darnold.
The 49ers have long been considered one of the favorites as a potential landing spot for Darnold. Their trade-up marks the crossing-off of another potential Darnold suitor throughout the past few months.
The Indianapolis Colts were another much-discussed landing spot that left the mix, due to their acquisition of Carson Wentz. The Chicago Bears (signing Andy Dalton and declaring him their starter) and the New Orleans Saints (signing Taysom Hill to a large extension) are two other possible destinations that made significant quarterback moves.
Providing more intel on the Jets’ possible plans, Breer added this nugget:
And in the process of vetting they [the 49ers] figured that the Jets weren’t moving the second pick.
As one would guess based on the fact that the 49ers moved up to No. 3 rather than the more-enticing No. 2 spot, it appears that San Francisco came away from its discussions with the Jets believing that they were not looking to trade the second overall pick.
In time, we will know for certain what the Jets plan to do with that selection. The draft begins in exactly one month, kicking off at 8 p.m. Eastern on April 29 in Cleveland, Ohio.