Sam Darnold has everything he needs to become a franchise quarterback

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

The Carolina Panthers head into a season hoping they have found their franchise quarterback in Sam Darnold and the team has all the pieces he needs to succeed.

Sam Darnold and the Carolina Panthers are a perfect fit. The quarterback has landed on a well-coached unit after being a member of a dysfunctional, underachieving team in the New York Jets during his first three years in the league.

Now there are no more excuses for Darnold this season. He has the weapons and if the offensive line holds up, we should find out whether or not he is truly a franchise player at the most important position on the field.

Darnold will prove this season it was the lack of protection and the toxic environment in New York that kept him from living up to expectations.

However, if he were to struggle this season in Carolina there are very few potentially mitigating factors for a team while not a contender that is solid offensively and is going to keep itself in any game they play.

Sam Darnold has some big-time weapons on the Carolina Panthers.

Darnold now has all the pieces he needs and this should be a make-or-break season for him and the Panthers. In D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson, the former first-round pick out of USC has two great receivers along with a top-five running back in Christian McCaffrey, who is arguably the best dual-threat player in football.

Another thing that Darnold has going for him is a defense that could end up being dominant in 2021. Simply put, this is the season we will see what the signal-caller is capable of.

One suspects Carolina’s current ceiling to be a 10-7 wildcard team if Darnold does manage to put it all together in a more stable environment.

However, the Panthers could become Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ biggest division challengers. Especially considering the New Orleans Saints are undergoing a significant quarterback change and the Atlanta Falcons relying on outscoring their opponents without Julio Jones unless their defense makes big strides.

By the end of the upcoming campaign, everyone associated with the Panthers will know with certainty whether or not Darnold can lead a franchise and was a product of a poor environment in New York.

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Or if he is truly a draft bust who will not live up to the expectations.