5 trades to strengthen Panthers QB options behind Sam Darnold

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY) Sam Darnold, Will Grier and P.J. Walker
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY) Sam Darnold, Will Grier and P.J. Walker /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Marcus Mariota /

Marcus Mariota – Las Vegas Raiders

Marcus Mariota is the second-best backup option on the market when you consider his success with the Tennessee Titans and ability to be used as a dual-threat.

Mariota would be an intriguing acquisition to sit behind Sam Darnold. But there is the matter of his large cap hit for a backup quarterback.

However, having Mariota offensively opens up possibilities offensively and could allow for creative running packages.

Using Mariota much as Sean Payton utilizes Taysom Hill would be an exciting variance to what was a vanilla offense built around Teddy Bridgewater last season.

Mariota’s potential in a utility role while having him provide insurance behind Darnold would be perfect for the Carolina Panthers. It would also provide them a legitimate starting option if anything were to happen to their current No. 1 option.

P.J. Walker would move to third on the depth chart and any move such as this would spell the end for Will Grier. This scenario is appealing but Mariota’s cap hit and relative youth could be problematic when one considers the Panthers are attempting to have Darnold rebound.

Mariota also has playoff experience to further boost his credentials. Although tempting, this trade could send the wrong message to a quarterback the Panthers need to thrive this season.