Jets fans have been crying about their quarterback situation for years. This time was different.
When rookie Sam Darnold was told he’d be starting the opener, his first call was to his parents.
“Mom was crying,” Darnold said, via Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. “As usual.”
Now she’ll get a chance to see her son become the youngest quarterback to start a regular season opener since the 1970 merger, when the Jets play the Lions. And while that may seem predestined for the third overall pick, he had to play well enough to convince the Jets to trade Teddy Bridgewater and skip dependable veteran Josh McCown.
“As a football player, whether it’s Pop Warner, high school, college or now the NFL, your dream is to play the game,” Darnold said. “That’s what I want to do. I just want to go out and play every single day.
“If Josh got the nod, I was going to be pumped for him and be the best backup I could be. Now that I know I’m the starter, it’s just an amazing feeling.”
Of course, he has a good role model in handling news with grace. McCown said he was “personnaly bummed” to lose the job he held last year, but that he realized Darnold was ready for the assignment.
“Obviously, as a competitor, you’d love to play, but I kind of understood which direction it was headed,” McCown said. “I’m excited for our team and excited for the future. . . . We’re backing it 100 percent.”
McCown’s making $10 million this year to support Darnold, which makes it easier to swallow. But if the Jets have finally found their long-term quarterback, there may finally be tears of joy from Jets fans.