Browns free agent QB option No. 2: Sam Darnold
Here’s another quarterback that was talked about a lot back in 2018 when the NFL Draft was approaching. Sam Darnold was among a handful of quarterbacks that were potentially going to Cleveland as their No. 1 pick. That we know went to Baker Mayfield, but many thought, including myself, that Darnold would be the pick.
What made that decision even more intriguing last season was that Mayfield was traded by Cleveland to compete with Darnold as the starter of the Carolina Panthers. Since then, Mayfield was released and landed with the Los Angeles Rams. Obviously, we know Mayfield won’t be returning to the Browns as a free agent, but Darnold could be a different story.
There’s been a lot of chatter about Darnold and making a move to Cleveland. His career never really took flight when he first landed with the New York Jets in 2018. In three seasons there, he collected a dismal 13-25 record. He then went to the Panthers in 2021 where he went 4-7 as the starter. He played at the tail end of this past season and went 4-2.
Whereas the before-mentioned Teddy Bridgewater was a pretty accurate quarterback, Darnold has never gotten his accuracy in order. His career average is hovering at 59.7 percent. He’s also thrown 61 touchdowns to 55 interceptions. So, there’s a lot to be desired if you consider bringing Darnold to your team. However, in a backup role, he could win you a game or two like he did this past season.
Darnold’s contract wouldn’t be that pricey either which would be another reason Cleveland should at least consider making an offer. After his initial deal that paid him north of $30 million in all, he’s only projected to make in the ballpark of $4-5 million this next season.