The New York Jets finally have their hopeful future franchise quarterback under contract.
Sam Darnold, the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s NFL draft, and the team have agreed to a four-year deal worth $30.25 million ahead of Monday afternoon’s practice. ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported details of the contract before the team made it official:
The deal is done.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) July 30, 2018
The deal is slightly smaller than that of No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield.
Darnold missed beginning of training camp
Jets rookies reported on July 24, and training camp opened up on July 26, but Darnold has not been present due to ongoing negotiations with the team regarding offset language in the contract. Now that he’s under contract, the former USC star will report for camp and hope to make up for lost time as he competes with Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater for the starting job.
Darnold, 21, burst onto the scene with a strong redshirt freshman campaign in 2016 after starting the season as the second-string quarterback. He threw 31 touchdowns to just nine interceptions, and expectations were sky high for his sophomore season. After a slow start, Darnold got on track and finished with 4,143 yards, 26 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 14 games. The Trojans won the Pac-12 before losing to Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl.
Bears LB Roquan Smith is only first-rounder still unsigned
With Darnold now under contract, Bears linebacker Roquan Smith, the eighth overall pick, is the only first-round pick still unsigned. The Georgia product is holding out due to the NFL’s new helmet rule and the language in his contract regarding it. The Bears opened camp early (July 16 for rookies, July 19 for veterans) because they play in the Hall of Fame Game on Thursday, so Smith has missed out on two weeks’ worth of action already.
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