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Golden Nuggets: Sam Darnold is reportedly available for a second round pick

Your daily San Francisco 49ers links for Saturday, February 20, 2021

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New York Jets v New England Patriots Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images

Later today, we’ll go over Alex Smith’s comments on Colin Kaepernick. Until then...quarterbacks.

Sam Darnold could be available for a team’s second round pick

The Jets are widely expected to use the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft on Justin Fields or Zach Wilson, making Darnold expendable after Adam Gase nearly destroyed his career. League sources told SportsNet New York’s Ralph Vacchiano that the Eagles trading Carson Wentz to the Colts for a third rounder and a conditional second rounder wouldn’t change the Jets’ asking price for Darnold. Vacchiano reports the Jets’ asking price for their QB “has long been projected to be a second-round pick, plus maybe another mid-to-late rounder.” Incredibly just 23 years old, Darnold could be an enticing target for a QB-needy team like Washington, who is reportedly interested in dealing for Darnold. It would be stunning if a team — Washington or otherwise — offered anything more than a second round pick for Darnold.

Jimmy Garoppolo’s $51.1 million over the final two years of his contract is not guaranteed

The Athletic’s Jeff Howe said if the Patriots acquired Garoppolo this offseason, they “could move on at any point. That would give them the freedom to still spend a high pick on a quarterback” in the upcoming NFL Draft. Howe added that “Garoppolo would be more valuable to the Patriots than anyone else, which is why I’d be surprised if the 49ers had many suitors.” The Niners continue to insist the constantly-injured Garoppolo isn’t available — it’s a transparent effort to gain leverage on the Patriots or another trade partner. Garoppolo, who started two games for the Pats in his three seasons with New England, would be familiar with the team’s offense, giving him an edge on free agents signal callers. He would be a fantasy non-factor in the Patriots’ skill-deficient offense.

Galina: Why I vibe with North Dakota State QB Trey Lance

Lance is an elite quick-game thrower, posting a 94.1% adjusted completion rate in 2019, the second-highest mark in a season since 2018 among quarterbacks with at least 25 dropbacks.

This is the obvious trait, but it’s the one that is the most easily translatable at the next level. As noted, Lance was bigger than most players who were trying to defend him at FCS level, and so the tape is excellent for old-fashioned hijinks with players bouncing off him left and right.

His 10.7 yards per rush on scrambles is the eighth-highest mark in college football among quarterbacks with at least 25 scrambles since 2015.

Lance does have accuracy issues, and it’s not a small affair. We charted him as throwing an accurate pass on only 47% of his throws in 2019 and 2020. That’s really bad. Lamar Jackson was the same way. They both understand how to play the position and know which person to throw the ball to, but they just can’t always get it there accurately all the time. It’s certainly a problem — but a fixable one.

Does it make sense for 49ers to pursue a trade with Jets for Darnold?

The New York Jets are expected to make Sam Darnold available for the best offer.

That would appear to make sense for the 49ers — at least, until considering all of the ramifications.

That price seems especially high for the 49ers, who are up against the salary cap and need a good number of their draft picks — and their controlled costs — to make the team and fill contributing roles.

If the 49ers held onto their second-round pick, that player would be expected to be an immediate starter. He would also cost $3.5 million less on the cap than Darnold.

Plus, a draft pick would be under a very manageable contract through the 2024 season.

Former 49ers star Patrick Willis not sold on trading Jimmy Garoppolo: ‘They can win with him’

“I think they’ve seen him at his best,” the seven-time Pro Bowler said. “Now if they go get him that defense, that same type of defense they had when they went to the Super Bowl and he can stay somewhat healthy, then yes, obviously they can win with him.”

“Sports is very interesting, and to be in the NFL it gets even more interesting from a business standpoint as well as just performance,” he explained. “It’s that saying, the cliche of ‘what have you done for me lately.’”

“In football, it’s really about [that mindset], and injuries are one of those things that can make a team really be suspect when it comes to you, especially if you’re not able to get through the injury and still be able to perform.”