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49ers, Washington had Sam Darnold interest before Jets trade

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The Panthers weren’t the only team interested in Sam Darnold.

Two days after the Jets traded the QB to Carolina, NFL Network reported the San Francisco 49ers and Washington Football Team took a “hard look” at the 23-year-old quarterback before free agency began.

“Washington had conversations about it & SF inquired about what it would take to happen,” said NFL Insider Ian Rapoport, who added that the Jets weren’t ready to make a move at the time.

On Monday, the Jets dealt Darnold to the Panthers for three draft picks: a sixth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and second-round and fourth-round picks in 2022. The trade came after months of speculation as to what the Jets would do with Darnold following three lackluster seasons and the No. 2-overall pick in April’s quarterback-laden draft.

Washington went on to sign Ryan Fitzpatrick in free agency without having to give up anything to add the 38-year-old to its roster, which also includes Kyle Allen. WFT tendered Allen, an exclusive rights free agent, in March.

sam darnold walks off the sideline during a jets game
Several teams kicked the tires on Sam Darnold before his trade to the Panthers.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

As for the 49ers, they’re still figuring out their QB situation with Jimmy Garoppolo the subject of trade rumors after the team traded up to the No. 3-overall pick. On Wednesday, they added Nate Sudfeld on a one-year deal.

The Jets appear ready to fill the Darnold void, with all signs pointing to BYU’s Zach Wilson as the team’s reset plan under center.



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