Sam Darnold’s future as a Jet is uncertain, but he still hopes he’s their quarterback next year.
"[It’s] very important to me," Darnold said Monday morning. "I said it once I got here: I want to be a Jet for life. I love the people here. I love living here and I want to turn this thing around. I believe that we can. There’s going to be a lot of work involved in that.
"I definitely want to stay here, hopefully for the rest of my career."
The Jets will undergo a major facelift this offseason. The process already started with Adam Gase’s dismissal on Sunday night.
Darnold called that "sad news" and said he’s thinking about Gase and his family. He’s also thinking about his own future, though. He said he will talk to general manager Joe Douglas about whether he is part of the Jets’ long-term plan.
"Those are the conversations I’m going to have in the future with him," Darnold said.
The reality is that the uncertainty could linger until the NFL Draft. If Douglas and Gase’s replacement want to draft a quarterback in the first round, Darnold likely will be traded for more assets.
The No. 3 overall pick in 2018, Darnold is coming off a rough year in which he threw nine touchdown passes and 11 interceptions. He threw two picks in the second half of the Jets’ season-ending loss Sunday in New England that gave them a 2-14 record.
CEO Christopher Johnson spoke to Darnold after Sunday’s game and told him he wants him to remain with the Jets, but Johnson said it’s up to Douglas and the new coach. Last year, Johnson said he wanted Jamal Adams to stay with the Jets but that it was Douglas’ decision. Douglas traded him to Seattle.
"I’m a huge fan of Sam. He’s a great QB," Johnson said. "I don’t think the book has been written on Sam. He has a very big future. I personally hope that he is on this team. That’s what I told him last night after the game. I hope he is a Jet going forward. But that decision is going to be made by Joe Douglas and our new coach."
Darnold wouldn’t take full responsibility for Gase’s firing, but he knows his performance played a part.
"Personally, I didn’t play consistent enough," he said. "That’s one thing I can pin it on. That’s the one thing I’m going to stick to because it’s true. I didn’t play well enough, I didn’t play consistent enough.
"I had flashes, stretches when I was playing well. I just haven’t been able to put it together for a whole season. I know I will in the future. That’s where I didn’t do well enough for Adam."