Money talks!

Jets rookie quar­ter­back Darnold ends hold­out, signs a four-year, $30.25-mil­lion deal

The Province - - SPORTS | FOOTBALL -

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Sam Darnold is signed, sealed and back un­der cen­tre.

The New York Jets inked the rookie quar­ter­back to a four-year, US$30.25-mil­lion deal Mon­day, end­ing the con­tract hold­out of the NFL’s No. 3 over­all draft pick.

Darnold missed the first three days of train­ing camp prac­tice while his rep­re­sen­ta­tives and the team worked out the de­tails.

There wouldn’t be a fourth straight ab­sence.

Just a few min­utes af­ter the Jets an­nounced the sign­ing — which in­cludes a sign­ing bonus of about $20 mil­lion — on so­cial me­dia, Darnold made his way out to the prac­tice field with his team­mates greet­ing him with a “Rudy”-like slow-clap. A grinning Darnold made his way to the warm-up line and got a pat on the shoul­der from

Josh McCown.

Darnold then jumped right into po­si­tion drills, hand­ing off to run­ning backs and throw­ing a few short passes be­fore par­tic­i­pat­ing in team drills. Af­ter a shaky start that in­cluded a handoff, an in­com­ple­tion and an in­ter­cepted pass by

Doug Mid­dle­ton,

Darnold bounced back in red-zone drills with short touch­down tosses to fel­low rookie Chris Herndon and later to wide re­ceiver Quincy Enunwa.

“What’s up Jets fans?” Darnold said in a video posted by the team. “Man, it’s a plea­sure to be signed now. I’m very ex­cited. Very spe­cial mo­ment. Let’s do it. Jet up!”

The 21-year-old quar­ter­back is ex­pected to com­pete with McCown and Teddy Bridge­wa­ter for the Jets’ start­ing job. But he fell be­hind slightly with each pass­ing day, and it be­gan to look un­cer­tain as to when an agree­ment be­tween the sides would come to­gether. While the amount of Darnold’s con­tract was al­ready clear un­der the NFL’s wage slot­ting sys­tem, the hang-up ap­peared to be over con­tract lan­guage.

One is­sue was off­sets, which if in­cluded could pro­vide a team with a mea­sure of fi­nan­cial pro­tec­tion if it cuts a player dur­ing his rookie con­tract. The Jets have his­tor­i­cally in­cluded off­set lan­guage in their con­tracts. Not hav­ing off­set lan­guage, a con­di­tion that Darnold’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives ap­par­ently sought, al­lows a player to re­ceive his re­main­ing salary from the team that cut him, as well as get paid by an­other team that signs him.

BRON­COS BANGED UP

The Den­ver Bron­cos don’t put their full pads on un­til Tues­day but they’re al­ready a banged-up bunch.

Newly signed re­ceiver

Corey Brown is in con­cus­sion pro­to­col af­ter hit­ting his head in the weight room and when the Bron­cos put on shoul­der pads for the first time Mon­day sev­eral play­ers hob­bled off.

“Foot­ball is played in pads, so to put the pads on and watch the guys bang a lit­tle bit is al­ways fun,” coach

Vance Joseph said.

“For the run­ning game, and ob­vi­ously stop­ping the run, the pads are crit­i­cal.”

Left tackle Garett Bolles and in­side line­backer

Bran­don Mar­shall were among the ca­su­al­ties Mon­day.

The Bron­cos are also deal­ing with sec­ond-year wide re­ceiver Car­los Hen­der­son, who failed to re­port to train­ing camp while deal­ing with what the team calls a fam­ily sit­u­a­tion.

LUCK STILL ON TRACK

Andrew Luck feels as sore and tired as he ex­pected four days into train­ing camp.

He’s also pain free — just as the In­di­anapo­lis Colts hoped.

Luck passed his first ma­jor tests by re­turn­ing to the prac­tice field, tak­ing all of his nor­mal snaps dur­ing the Colts’ first two work­outs, con­nect­ing with re­ceivers on the run rather than throw­ing at sta­tion­ary tar­gets while feel­ing good phys­i­cally and men­tally.

It’s a good start for the quar­ter­back with the sur­gi­cally re­paired right shoul­der.

“Ev­ery day there will be new hur­dles,” he said Sun­day.

“The sec­ond day, things seemed to calm down or slow down a lot. The first day I was ner­vous, I was ex­cited and there was a cer­tain el­e­ment of the un­known.

“I wasn’t quite sure what was go­ing to hap­pen. It was also very fun to be out there with the guys and fo­cus on get­ting bet­ter at prac­tice and not just sur­viv­ing the prac­tice.”

— AP PHOTO

Af­ter sign­ing a big con­tract, Jets rookie quar­ter­back Sam Darnold was all smiles Mon­day dur­ing a prac­tice at the team’s train­ing camp in Florham Park, N.J.

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