New York Jets GM Mike Maccagnan praises ‘unflappable’ Sam Darnold


FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan offered his take Monday on the team’s quarterback competition, gushing about rookie Sam Darnold and all but confirming he’s open to trading Teddy Bridgewater.

Maccagnan, in an interview with New York radio station WFAN, said he’s “exceptionally impressed” with Darnold, describing the former USC star as “unflappable.”

These were the GM’s first public comments on the three-way quarterback battle involving Darnold, Bridgewater and veteran Josh McCown.

Maccagnan doesn’t have the final say on the quarterback decision — that belongs to coach Todd Bowles — but it seems clear which way he’s leaning. Maccagnan traded up three spots and used the third overall draft pick on Darnold, who is poised to start for the second straight week Friday night against the New York Giants.

The Jets also have Bridgewater and McCown on the roster, fueling speculation that Bridgewater could be traded. Maccagnan did nothing to squash the rumors.

“There’s nothing to stop us from keeping three [quarterbacks], and there’s nothing to stop us from keeping two,” said Maccagnan, basically confirming there’s a “for sale” sign on Bridgewater.

Darnold, getting the majority of practice reps for the second straight week, appears to have the inside track on the starting job.

Bridgewater has more trade value than McCown, who is 39 years old and carries a $10 million salary. Bridgewater, who has impressed in two preseason games, is only 25 with a $5 million base salary, plus incentives.

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