Does trading for Sam Darnold make sense for the Carolina Panthers?

(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

The Carolina Panthers were named as a dark horse in a Sam Darnold trade.

Some big changes before the 2020 campaign saw the Carolina Panthers place a lot of faith in Teddy Bridgewater this offseason. They gave the quarterback a three-year, $63 million deal with a $15 million signing bonus and $33 million guaranteed to prise him away from the New Orleans Saints, where he went 5-0 in the absence of No. 1 option Drew Brees in 2019.

There have been some highs and plenty of lows during Bridgewater’s first season under center for the Carolina Panthers, which has left some questioning whether he is the man to take the franchise forward. He is efficient and accurate in distributing the football, but the limitations are there for all to see and it remains to be seen whether he’ll be able to make his presence felt more effectively between now and the end of the campaign.

Bridgewater is also dealing with a knee injury that is expected to see the signal-caller miss Sunday’s game against the Lions.

Speaking on ESPN’s debate show Get Up, senior writer Jeremy Fowler named the Panthers as a potential “dark-horse” destination for Sam Darnold in the trade market next spring if – as expected – the New York Jets are in a position to select Clemson sensation, Trevor Lawrence, with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

This would be absolutely mind-blowing.

Pulling the plug on Bridgewater after just one season would be a huge derailment in their rebuilding plans, with Carolina counting on the former Louisville standout to steer them through this period of transition and into postseason contention.

It’s a big call to make, but how much sense does trading for Darnold make for the Panthers at this juncture?