Panthers acquired QB Sam Darnold from the Jets in exchange for three draft picks
Panthers’ win total prop (7.5) did not budge following the news
Jets widely expected to select BYU QB Zach Wilson with second overall pick
On Monday, the Carolina Panthers officially acquired quarterback Sam Darnold in a trade with the New York Jets. In exchange for the former No. 3 overall pick, the Panthers sent a 2021 sixth-rounder as well as second- and fourth-round selections next year back to New York.
The teams have reportedly been discussing the trade for weeks. It’s not a huge surprise that the Jets decided to trade Darnold this offseason, as the team is almost sure to select another quarterback with the second overall pick in the draft later this month.
Despite signing Teddy Bridgewater to a big-money contract last offseason, the Panthers were one of the many teams reportedly interested in adding a QB this offseason via trade or free agency.
Panthers Looking to Trade Bridgewater
The trade sure seems to signal the end of Bridgewater’s tenure in Carolina. Shortly after the trade was announced, Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer said that the team is “going to find the right place” for Bridgewater this offseason. He is likely to be traded, but his contract will be restructured if the Panthers are ultimately unable to find a taker.
While there is an outside chance Bridgewater would be given the chance to fight for the starting job if he remains with the Panthers, Darnold is now the overwhelming favorite to start for Carolina in Week 1. Darnold was a decorated prospect when he came out of USC in 2018, but he has struggled through each of his first three NFL seasons.
Following the trade for Sam Darnold, the #Panthers spoke with QB Teddy Bridgewater and allowed him the opportunity to talk with teams to potentially facilitate a trade, sources say. Carolina is open to Bridgewater returning, but will give him a chance to have a say in his future.
In 12 games last year, Darnold completed just 59.6 percent of his throws for 2,208 yards with nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions. The Jets have had one of the worst offenses in football over the past couple of seasons over ex-head coach Adam Gase, and Darnold certainly didn’t have a ton of talent around him with the Jets.
Clearly, the Carolina Panthers are banking on the 23-year-old’s potential with this move. Carolina does have much better weaponry on offense, including Christian McCaffrey, Robby Anderson, and DJ Moore. However, the trade has not affected the betting outlook of the Panthers at all ahead of next season.
Panthers Holding Steady at Over/Under 7.5 Wins
The Panthers’ win total prop was set at 7.5 prior to the trade, and the number didn’t budge following the deal, either. The Jets went just 13-25 with Darnold as the starter over the last three years, and the Panthers happen to play in one of the NFL’s toughest divisions. The NFC South is home to the reigning Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as well as the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons.
Darnold has struggled with injuries and illness during his pro career to this point, but Carolina is optimistic that a change of scenery will do him some good. Bridgewater didn’t play badly in his first season with the team, but his numbers still left plenty to be desired. Bridgewater completed 69.1 percent of his passes for 3,733 yards with 15 touchdowns to 11 interceptions across 15 games.
The team says it has exercised the fifth-year option on Darnold’s contract, which means he will stay in Carolina at least through 2022. The 17-game schedule does give the Panthers one extra opportunity to win a game in 2021, but their schedule looks fairly daunting. In addition to six games against their divisional rivals, the Panthers will also face the Bills, Cardinals, and Dolphins on the road. Darnold will have the chance for immediate revenge, though, as the Jets do pop up on Carolina’s 2021 schedule, as well.
New York will miss out on Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence in the draft, but there are still quite a few highly-rated QBs expected to be available at No. 2. NFL betting sites now have BYU QB Zach Wilson as an overwhelming -2000 favorite to be the second pick in the draft. Ohio State’s Justin Fields (+1600) and Alabama’s Mac Jones (+3300) are two other quarterbacks expected to be taken in the top-five.
Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...
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