5 winners and losers from Panthers trade for Sam Darnold

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

Who were the biggest winners and losers for the Carolina Panthers adding to their roster with a trade for Sam Darnold from the New York Jets?

The Carolina Panthers set the NFL alight on Monday by trading for Sam Darnold, who now frees himself from the New York Jets after struggling significantly to coexist with former head coach Adam Gase. This is the fresh start the player undoubtedly needs and will leave his former employers moving forward with BYU sensation Zach Wilson when he’s taken No. 2 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Giving up three draft selections for a signal-caller who’s been inconsistent over his first three years in the league might be considered a risk by some. However, the compensation could be worth its weight in gold if Darnold thrives in a new environment with some much better weapons at his disposal.

Carolina is expected to pick up Darnold’s fifth-year option, according to multiple reports following the trade. This gives them two seasons to figure out whether the former first-round pick can be their viable long-term option moving forward and allows them a little more time to come up with a contingency plan if things don’t work out.

This appears to be a solid move for all parties involved. But who are the biggest winners and losers from the Panthers bringing Darnold to the organization?

Winner No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Joe Brady /

Joe Brady – Carolina Panthers OC

If Joe Brady can work his magic on Sam Darnold and turn him into a highly productive quarterback in 2021, then you can bet your bottom dollar a head coaching gig won’t be far behind. The Carolina Panthers have one of the brightest young minds in the business that is sure to be a great asset for their new signal-caller as he looks to reignite his career, with his preference for getting the ball downfield quickly sure to open up the playbook next season.

This was one of the real problems where Teddy Bridgewater was concerned. Couple this with a lack of conviction with the game on the line and it’s not hard to see why Carolina went in a different direction.

Brady played a big role in turning Joe Burrow from a mid-round afterthought to the consensus No. 1 overall selection in 2020 during their time together in LSU. If the offensive coordinator can have the same level of impact on Darnold, the sky is the limit.