"Whether I look bad or not (for trading Darnold), I could give two shits about that," Douglas said, according to Albert Breer of The MMQB. "I know that he's gonna have success. The timing didn't really work out for him here. We couldn't turn this around fast enough for him. And that's not his fault. I root for good people, and that dude's a good man, and he's gonna do good things."
The Jets traded Darnold to the Panthers in exchange for three draft picks, including a second-rounder in 2022. The team ultimately moved on from the 2018 third overall pick after three seasons.
Douglas added that before free agency began in mid-March, eight teams expressed interest in the signal-caller, which could've led to a stronger return.
However, due to pandemic limitations, the Jets' front office hadn't fully completed its evaluation of rookie quarterbacks at the time, which led to the team declining trade packages for Darnold, including one from the Panthers.
"It was a strong offer," Douglas said. "We told them, 'Look, there's still a lot of boxes left to check. And we just don't feel comfortable, in case something happens with one of the top two guys (in the draft), we don't want to get caught in a bad situation, like one of two guys fails a physical and then we don't have Sam.' So we didn't do anything."
Douglas became New York's general manager after Darnold's rookie campaign. He's expected to select a quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick on April 29, with former BYU star Zach Wilson considered the favorite.