Sam Darnold after ‘great’ holdout: ‘I want to start’ in Week 1
Sam Darnold on Wednesday met with the media at training camp for the first time after waiting for his agent and the New York Jets finally came to terms on a contract. The impasse led to a brief holdout, meaning the No. 3 overall pick in the draft missed the first three days of training camp.
Despite the setbacks caused by missing key practice sessions, especially for a rookie, Darnold has no issues with how his contract situation played out.
“I thought it played out great,” Darnold said Wednesday, via the New York Post. “I think with the way everything worked out, that’s why I have great agents because they’re able to figure that stuff out. And whenever I get back on the field that’s my job.
“I knew what was best for me, but at the same time I wanted to get out and play football.”
Darnold admitted it “sucked” to be away from his teammates for the first few days of camp. But the rookie signal-caller kept himself apprised of what was happening on the practice fields courtesy of his team-issued iPad.
Now Darnold has some catching up to do with Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater — slotted above him on the depth chart, in that order — getting all the reps in his absence. Despite this, Darnold plainly stated where he sees himself in the pecking order, albeit saying so in the most diplomatic way possible.
“The competitor in me – yeah, I want to start,” Darnold said, via NJ.com. “But at the same time, it’s about the team and what’s best for the team. If (head coach Todd) Bowles and (offensive coordinator Jeremy) Bates feel like Josh (McCown) or Teddy (Bridgewater) or myself are the best fit for the starting job, then that’s what it is and the team can respect it.”
Luckily for him, the holdout did not drag along deeper into camp. The Jets have high hopes for Darnold and the rookie exhibited a team-first attitude during OTAs and minicamp. Darnold will have to prove it on the field that he merits consideration as the Week 1 starter.