Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold had a rough go with the Jets for three years.
There were several reasons why New York elected to trade him to Carolina in April, clearing the way for the Jets to select Zach Wilson at No. 2 overall. But now as Darnold prepares to face his former team to open the season on Sunday, Darnold isn’t blaming anyone for the way things turned out.
“I feel like, for me, every opportunity I’ve found a way to kind of take advantage of,” Darnold said, via David Newton of ESPN. “The Jets was kind of the first time in my life that I got something — and that was taken away from me, for multiple reasons. … I definitely didn’t play good enough in my stint there. And I put it on myself.”
Though some might say former head coach Adam Gase’s offense didn’t put Darnold in position to succeed, the 2018 No. 3 overall pick didn’t go there.
“We had a good system in New York,” Darnold said. “And there were countless plays where I messed up a read or I didn’t throw it to the open guy.”
In 38 games for the Jets, Darnold completed 59.8 percent of his passes for 8,097 yards with 45 touchdowns, 39 interceptions, and seven lost fumbles, compiling a 13-25 record.
But with weapons like running back Christian McCaffrey along with receivers Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore, and a system run by offensive coordinator Joe Brady, Darnold is in a good situation to craft a different narrative for the second chapter of his career.