4 major factors that could hamper Sam Darnold’s production in 2021

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Sam Darnold
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Sam Darnold /
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Sam Darnold
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold and Matt Rhule /

What are some major factors to consider that could end up hampering Sam Darnold’s production with the Carolina Panthers in 2021?

How Sam Darnold performs under center will determine just how far the Carolina Panthers can go in 2021. This bold gamble to acquire the quarterback via trade from the New York Jets is something that has the potential to go either way, with huge rewards or drastic consequences sure to follow.

There will be no in-between.

Darnold is under immense pressure next season. Getting a pass no longer applies to the former No. 3 overall selection given the improved talent around him. So if he fails to make the most out of this opportunity, then his chances of ever being a reliable starter will be all but over.

The signal-caller has made a good first impression during Carolina’s early offseason program. This is a solid foundation from which to build, although things need to progress once the pads go on at training camp and wherever reps he’s given during preseason contests.

Carolina doesn’t want another exhaustive quarterback search this time next year. That’s just not a smart way to build a successful franchise.

They’ll be hoping Darnold’s talent shines through. But whether he can start fulfilling his promise in a different environment remains to be seen.

With this in mind, here are four major factors that could hamper Darnold’s production in Carolina next season.