Memo To Jets: Darnold Disputes Report About Staying At USC

QB Says NFL.com Story Didn't Come From Him, Adds He'll Take Lead-Up To Draft Decision 'One Day At A Time'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Don’t believe everything you read.

That seems to be the advice from Sam Darnold, who has been widely projected as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft, should he actually declare.

The Southern Cal quarterback raised some eyebrows on Tuesday when he appeared on ESPN and said an NFL.com report stating that “several sources close to” him believe he will stay in school after the 2017 season may not have the real story.

“I don’t really have many thoughts about that,” Darnold said while appearing on “The Six.” “I don’t think any team should tank their season because of me. I’m just taking this every day, one day at a time. That’s all I can do.”

Sam Darnold

Southern Cal quarterback Sam Darnold heads off the field after beating Washington on Nov. 12, 2016 in Seattle. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

That should come as music to the ears of the New York Jets, who are widely believed to be big fans of the talented redshirt sophomore.

As most everyone knows at this point, the Jets have been searching for a franchise quarterback for the better part of the last four-plus decades, dating to the glory days of Joe Namath.

Darnold made it clear that the information in the NFL.com story didn’t come from him, and added he plans on conferring with those he trusts before making any decision about the 2018 draft.

“I’m looking forward to whatever lies ahead of my future,” he said. “But I’m really just taking it one day at a time.”

Darnold is coming off a tremendous 2016 season in which he threw for 3,086 yards, with 31 touchdowns, just nine interceptions, and a 67.2 completion percentage in 13 games. For those who didn’t know too much about him, his performance in the Rose Bowl against Penn State got football fans everywhere salivating. The 6-foot-4, 225-pounder went 33-of-53 for 453 yards with five TDs in USC’s rousing 52-49 come-from-behind victory.

The Trojans trailed big entering the fourth quarter before Darnold led them to 17 unanswered points in the final eight minutes.

The Jets, who are in complete rebuilding mode and should have a decent shot at the No. 1 overall pick in 2018, will enter the upcoming season with real questions at quarterback. They signed 38-year-old Josh McCown to a one-year contract early in free agency as a potential placeholder for someone.

MOREPalladino: Jets Must Find Out About Hackenberg Immediately

The question is who. When the Darnold story first surfaced many suggested the Jets forget about McCown, the odds-on favorite to be the Week 1 starter, and instead give the ball to either Christian Hackenberg, New York’s second-round pick in 2016, or Bryce Petty, who was taken in the fourth round in 2015, but has shown little during his few opportunities to play.

Is the “Suck for Sam” campaign back? Well, it’s at least off life support.

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