Sam Darnold had a good source to get the scoop on his new boss when the Jets hired Joe Douglas as their general manager Friday night.
But the quarterback used his eyes, too, to see what the former Eagles vice president of player personnel has done in past stops, and it has him optimistic for what’s to come with the Jets.
“You definitely see what he’s done, how he’s helped an organization out, and it definitely is reassuring, for sure,” Darnold said Saturday morning at his youth football camp at LIU Post. “I know he’s done a great job with the Eagles so far and every other place he’s been. So looking forward to working with him and seeing what he can do for our team.”
Douglas spent the past three years with the Eagles, making moves that helped them win Super Bowl LII. Before that, he crossed paths with new Jets coach Adam Gase for a year in Chicago, when he was the Bears’ director of college scouting and Gase was the offensive coordinator. But Douglas earned his stripes while working in the well-respected Ravens scouting department for 15 years.
When the Jets announced the hire Friday night, Darnold got on the phone with his agency — the same one that represents Douglas and Gase through lead agent Jimmy Sexton — and heard only “good things.” Having a shared agent with Douglas is “definitely convenient,” Darnold said, but he didn’t think it would affect him much otherwise.
“Just understanding what’s going on and being able to have that connection with my agents,” Darnold said. “Especially when Coach Gase got hired and obviously when Joe got hired, right away they were able to tell me some things right off the bat that helped me in the conversations leading up to getting to know him.”
It could potentially make things a little awkward when the time comes to talk about a new contract for Darnold. That is not exactly a pressing issue for the USC product — who is entering the second season of his four-year rookie deal, which includes a fifth-year option.
Though Douglas has plenty of other areas to address first, he is coming from a front office that was aggressive in signing players to extensions well before they were set to become free agents. The latest was quarterback Carson Wentz — two years ahead of Darnold — who inked a four-year, $128 million extension on Thursday.
“Honestly, I’m not thinking about that,” said Darnold, who was drafted by former GM Mike Maccagnan third-overall in 2018. “For me, it’s just about seeing how obviously [Douglas] knows what he’s doing. He’s been around the league for a while, so I’m not super concerned with how he’s going to be doing things. I just know if I play well, if we win games most importantly, then the future’s bright for the organization. That’s all I really care about.”
Darnold was likely an attractive piece of the package that lured Douglas to the Jets — along with the six-year deal that will reportedly pay him more than $3 million per year.
Before Douglas’ hiring was official, Gase made his last move as interim GM Friday by re-signing running back Bilal Powell. The veteran suffered a neck injury in Week 7 last fall that was initially thought to be career-threatening, but following surgery, Powell made a full recovery. He joins a backfield that includes Le’Veon Bell, Ty Montgomery and Eli McGuire.
“Great to have BP back,” Darnold said. “Can’t wait to get to work with him. I haven’t seen him in a while, so it’s going to be nice to be able to see him. I know BP’s a great guy and a great player, so it’s great to have him back.”