• Reuters

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The New York Jets traded quarterback Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers on Monday in exchange for a sixth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and second- and fourth-round selections in 2022.

The Jets hold the No. 2 overall pick in this month’s draft. They are expected to take a quarterback, whether it be BYU’s Zach Wilson, Ohio State’s Justin Fields, North Dakota State’s Trey Lance or Alabama’s Mac Jones.

Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence is projected to be taken with the top overall pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“I want to publicly acknowledge the commitment, dedication, and professionalism Sam displayed while with the Jets,” general manager Joe Douglas said. “He is a tough-minded, talented football player whose NFL story has not been written yet. While all these things are true, this move is in the short- and long-term best interests for both this team and him. We thank Sam for all of his work on behalf of this organization and wish him well as he continues his career.”

The move to acquire Darnold puts fellow quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s status in question with the Panthers.

Bridgewater, 28, threw for 3,733 yards with 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 15 games last season, his first with Carolina. He also rushed for 279 yards with five scores.

With the Jets, Darnold had ups, downs, injuries and illnesses since being selected with the third overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Darnold, 23, showed modest improvement from his rookie year to his second season. His touchdown total improved from 17 to 19, his interception total dropped from 15 to 13 and he completed a higher percentage of his passes (57.7 percent in 2018, 61.9 percent in 2019).

But in 2020, Darnold threw for a career-low 2,208 yards and nine touchdowns in 12 games (all starts). He completed 59.6 percent of his passes and was intercepted 11 times.

Darnold has thrown for 8,097 yards with 45 touchdowns and 39 interceptions in 38 games (all starts) in his first three NFL seasons.

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