Former No. 2 pick Sam Darnold feels ''relieved and excited'' to be a part of the Carolina Panthers as he doesn't have to think about his future anymore. Darnold, who was selected at No. 2 in the 2018 NFL draft by the New York Jets, was traded to the Panthers this offseason.
After the season ended and it was known that the Jets would have the second overall selection in the upcoming NFL draft, it was believed that Darnold's days in New York were over. “There’s a little bit of both — relief and excitement,” Darnold said, via Darin Gantt of Panthers.com.
“There’s been so much uncertainty this offseason, not knowing what your future was going to look like, that was hard. . . . But now that I’m in Charlotte, I’m excited, and yeah, I guess I am kind of relieved to be here”.
Darnold admitted he expected to be the long-term solution for the Jets at the quarterback position. “I imagined I was going to be the franchise quarterback of the New York Jets for a long time,” Darnold said.
“And once you realize that the team that drafted you is moving on, it stings a little bit”.
Darnold feels wanted by the Panthers
“To go from being unwanted to being wanted is huge,” Darnold said. “Getting that news that you’re going to be traded, of a team saying, ‘Hey, we didn’t want you,” for whatever reason, is hard.
. . . But right now, I feel great about it, and I’m excited to get here, and get started”. After the Panthers traded for Darnold, they were excited to get a young and talented quarterback. "This doesn't take us out of anything in the draft," Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer said, per ESPN.
"It doesn't take us out of taking a quarterback, it doesn't take us out of taking any position. What we wanted to do going into this draft, through free agency, through this trade with Sam, was to just get rid of all the needs we have.
"We wanted to get to a place where the roster was in a good spot, and we could take the best available player at No. 8. We could always move up, and we could always move back, but this puts us in a position to make the right football decision for this team moving forward."