5 Panthers players who could bounce back from disappointing 2020

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Juston Burris
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Juston Burris /
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Carolina Panthers
(Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Sam Darnold – Carolina Panthers QB

Sam Darnold may not have been on the Carolina Panthers in 2020, but he wouldn’t have been available for trade had he shown any signs of life with the New York Jets.

In truth, the quarterback was never helped by his previous employers and they wasted little time in moving on from the former No. 3 overall selection at the first real opportunity.

Although two meaningless wins late in the season cost them a shot at Trevor Lawrence, BYU signal-caller Zach Wilson wasn’t a bad consolation prize and gave the Panthers an opportunity to hopefully get themselves an upgrade at the most important position on the field.

Banking on Darnold is a huge risk by the Panthers.

One that comes with some significant risks.

No doubt those in power within the organization weighed all this up before bringing the USC product on board at a cost of three draft selections. Darnold has far more weapons at his disposal in Carolina, as well as one of the league’s brightest young offensive minds in Joe Brady calling the plays.

Simply put, everything is in position for Darnold to reignite his career.

If the Panthers’ offensive line also holds firm, then there are literally no more excuses for the player.

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Darnold needs to treat this as his rookie season and forget everything that happened at MetLife Stadium. Should he do this and put his intriguing skill set to better use, it might end up being a shrewd bit of business by the Panthers.