GM noncommittal on Darnold's future with Jets

6:18 PM ET

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas, who once deemed Sam Darnold untouchable, was noncommittal Tuesday on whether Darnold will return as the starting quarterback in 2021.

Douglas deferred, saying the next coach will be “a big part of that” decision — one that could have a huge impact on the NFL offseason and the 2021 draft. The Jets, picking second, could draft Darnold’s replacement.

“Look, we’ve got a lot of decisions to make,” Douglas said in an end-of-the-season Zoom call with reporters. “I think Sam’s going to be a great quarterback. I’m excited to get a head coach in here and go through our process.

“I think Sam has a very bright future in this league. We’re going to get a head coach in here, we’re going to get together and we’re going to talk about quite a few decisions. I’m excited about Sam.”

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Douglas’ praise sounded tempered, compared to previous public comments about Darnold.

At the 2019 trading deadline, Douglas said he’d listen to trade offers for every player on the team except Darnold. At the 2020 midseason mark, he said of Darnold, “I have no problem

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