“I have social media, I’ve seen some of the things,” Darnold told reporters last month.
Giving up on Darnold, though, would mean the Jets had already failed to convert a highly drafted quarterback into an N.F.L. success. He was the No. 3 pick in 2018, the same year that the Browns used the No. 1 spot — the fruit of their 0-16 season — to take quarterback Baker Mayfield, who is often credited with helping to move the franchise toward respectability. In his N.F.L. debut, in Week 3 of the 2018 season, Mayfield helped the Browns end their winless streak by defeating against the Jets. Cleveland went 7-8-1 in his rookie year and 6-10 last year.
Throughout his time with the Browns, Jackson reminded players that nothing was over until the final whistle of the last game. Which, to some extent, could not come fast enough.
“People are not built to lose, especially when you’re a leader,” he said. “In order to continue to be your best, you have to keep those down feelings away from the players, your family, the office and even yourself.”