After a four-day contractual holdout that kept him out of training camp, Sam Darnold has agreed to a four-year contract worth $30.25 million, as first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The entirety of that $30.25 million is guaranteed, which was the source of the standoff between the rookie quarterback and the organization last week.
According to ESPN's Rich Cimini:
"While the offset clause remains an issue, the major sticking point, as I understand it, is default language pertaining to guaranteed money. Under the Jets' proposal, Darnold's entire guarantee will void if he's fined by the league for discipline or conduct on/off the field. This is different from the Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen contracts. In their cases, their guarantee voids with a suspension, not a fine. Big difference. The Jets' approach is unusual based on recent history. It's believed that, in the last 10 drafts, no top-3 pick had voidables tied to league fines. This may sound petty, but Darnold has a $30 million guarantee over the life of the proposed contract."
To put it in Layman's terms, Darnold's original proposed contract had $30 million in guaranteed money. If he messed up in any way, whether that meant being fined or suspended, he would have lost that money.
With that much money on the line, it's understandable why there were some difficulties in negotiations.
For some Jets fans though, it was just another reason to worry. Let's face it, the Jets haven't had many things go right for them over the past five decades or so.
With one Super Bowl appearance and win since 1968, there hasn't been much to get excited about around the green side of New York, or New Jersey. But Darnold provides a glimmer of hope that the franchise just acquired its first real franchise quarterback since Joe Namath.
And he's only 21 years old.
There should not have been much reason to worry even if the holdout meandered into August.
Ideally, Darnold shouldn't be under center at any portion of the 2018 season. With veteran Josh McCown coming back after a career year and Teddy Bridgewater having a lot to prove, the only way the USC product should see any sort of game time is because of injuries.
The Jets should take their time to develop Darnold rather than throwing him into game action come Week 1. If the organization wants to see him in real-time action, that's what preseason is for. So it would have been understandable had a feeling of haste grew the closer things got to the middle of August.
Now with Darnold under contract and reporting to camp, the Jets will hope their future is in the kind of headspace where he will want to come in and help the team out in any way possible. Even if that means holding the clipboard for his first year as a pro.