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2021 QB picture gets a little clearer with Sam Darnold traded to Panthers

NFL: New York Jets at Los Angeles Rams Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets have traded quarterback Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers for a 2022 second round pick, a 2022 fourth round pick, and a 2021 sixth round pick. This one move could essentially clear up two quarterback jobs for next season that were previously up in the air:

The Panthers gave up a second round pick for Darnold, so one would think that they are going to pump the brakes on their hunt for a Teddy Bridgewater replacement/competition.

The Jets are going to draft Zach Wilson out of BYU, based on all the reports we’ve read so far.

This news should also come with the realization that New York isn’t going to trade the number two pick and that means that the San Francisco 49ers are still deadlocked into holding the pick for the third-best quarterback this year. Will that be Mac Jones, Trey Lance, or Justin Fields?

Because Carolina is likely to stop shopping for a quarterback, this means that there is now less competition for the Falcons’ pick at four. The Broncos, Patriots, and Bears appear to be the only teams that could seriously posture for a quarterback upgrade in the draft, and New England (15) and Chicago (20) both seem well out of range of pick four unless they give up a lot.

But that’s assuming that Atlanta isn’t interested in drafting a quarterback for themselves, not to mention that the Dolphins, Eagles, and Lions could all be more interested in a QB prospect than they’re currently letting on.

However, now that Darnold has been traded, a Jimmy Garoppolo deal could be on the horizon and that might also fill one team need, at least in the short term.