BOSTON (CBS) — The NFL Draft is just three weeks away, and there was another trade involving a young quarterback on Monday. Sam Darnold is no longer a member of the New York Jets, now in the running to quarterback the Carolina Panthers.

The trade has some ramifications for the New England Patriots, and it goes much further than Darnold no longer seeing ghosts in the AFC East.

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The Jets Will Now Absolutely Be Drafting A QB At No. 2

There was a growing sense that this would happen, even if Darnold was still on the New York roster. But now that he isn’t there, the Jets really need a new QB, and they’ll likely take Zach Wilson at No. 2 overall.

So a quarterback will be taken with the first three picks, and potentially the first five selections, come April 29.

The Panthers Will Not Be Drafting A QB At No. 8

Carolina now has Darnold and Teddy Bridgewater atop its QB depth chart, along with second-year quarterback P.J. Walker, so they probably won’t be drafting a passer at No. 8. They likely feel that Darnold, who is still just 23, was a better option than any of the quarterbacks that may fall that far.

That betters the chance of one of the top QBs falling to No. 15, though those chances are still pretty slim. But if someone is available at No. 8 that piques Bill Belichick’s interest, maybe he’d be willing to package that No. 15 pick and move on up to take New England’s potential quarterback of the future.

Chances are New England is going to have to trade up a little higher to get a potentially good passer, likely to No. 4 (Atlanta Falcons), No. 7 (Detroit Lions) and No. 9 (Denver Broncos). And there is no guarantee that any of the top passers will be around after No. 5.

But moving up to No. 8 for a quarterback could be an option, and the odds of the Panthers trading that pick improved Monday afternoon.

Did The Asking Price For Jimmy G. Just Go Down?

The Jets received a 2021 sixth-round pick, and picks in the second- and fourth-round in 2022 for Darnold, who is signed for two more seasons at modest money.

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It’s a pretty good package for both sides, nothing like the package that San Francisco coughed up for the No. 3 overall pick when it swung a deal with Miami a few weeks ago. The 49ers sent the No. 12 pick in this year’s draft, a first- and third-round pick in 2022, and a first-round pick in 2023 to move up nine spots this year to draft a quarterback that has never thrown an NFL pass.

That made the asking price to move up this year astronomical, and that will likely benefit the Panthers should they look to move the No. 8 pick. But the fact that Darnold was traded for a package of three picks, none of which was higher than a second-round selection, should bring down San Francisco’s absurd asking price of a first-round pick just to listen to an offer for Garoppolo. At least one would think.

Garoppolo is older than Darnold and carries a massive price tag at $25 million for next season. If a cost-effective Darnold went for a package that did not include a first, teams can now go back to San Francisco and say no way to their first-round demand.

Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston believes the best the 49ers could do for Garoppolo following the Darnold trade is a third-round pick.

We shall see.

Bridge QB?

The Patriots reportedly expressed some interest in Bridgewater last offseason before he signed with the Panthers. The 29-year-old is signed through next season (with an opt-out) at $17 million and $20 million per season, so he doesn’t really fit in with New England’s timeline. But Bridgewater could become available, and his price tag may not be too wild if the Pats want to add another veteran alongside Cam Newton and Jarrett Stidham.

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CBSBoston.com Staff