The Jets continue to hold their Sam Darnold stock with, well, copper hands, but they're slowly starting to turn green.
New York is just a little over a month away from the 2021 NFL Draft, in which it owns the No. 2 pick and will encounter a difficult decision. Do the Jets spend the choice on another quarterback of the future, or do they use it on a game-changing playmaker elsewhere? Even a third scenario -- dealing the pick for a haul of capital and assets -- remains on the table.
But first, before they make that decision, they must determine where they are with Darnold. As has been the case for the entirety of the offseason, the Jets aren't tipping their hand -- even with their new additions.
Receiver Corey Davis has a vested interest in who is taking snaps for the Jets, and he said Tuesday he was told Darnold is the guy -- as of now.
"The situation, it is what it is," Davis told reporters, via SNY's Ralph Vacchiano. "Obviously I'm coming in with my understanding that Sam is the guy. That doesn't scare me away at all. I've seen Sam do great things."
Davis jumped from the playoff-contending Titans to the lowly Jets at the start of free agency, with a three-year, $37.5 million deal helping make the decision a little easier for the former first-round pick. Surely the money was nice, but the signal-calling situation also had to play somewhat of a factor for a guy who makes a living catching passes.
Asked again if he believed Darnold was the Jets' man under center, Davis said "Yes, that’s my understanding."
That's not quite the strongest endorsement for Darnold from management, but the Jets have incentive to keep things closely guarded. For one, appearing to believe in the future of Darnold helps keep his trade value afloat. It also avoids rocking the boat in the event the Jets really do believe they want a fourth year with the former No. 3 overall pick, and decide to spend the pick on another position.
But in a class with a quartet of coveted quarterbacks who could all end up being picked in the top 10 selections, it's difficult to see the Jets passing on such an opportunity at No. 2 -- especially after most everyone had them taking Clemson's Trevor Lawrence with the top pick before the Jets won their way out of that sweepstakes late in 2020.
The other prospects might not be as convincing to New York as Lawrence is to most of the league. Or the Jets might already have their guy (BYU's Zach Wilson, perhaps?) in their sights, and are just keeping their intentions under wraps to maximize their return on Darnold.
For now, the guessing (and waiting) game continues. We know one thing, though: We didn't get a slam-dunk confirmation from one of the newest Jets on Tuesday.