Why Justin Fields is making the Carolina Panthers front office look foolish

Dean Jones
(Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports) Justin Fields
(Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports) Justin Fields /
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Carolina Panthers
(Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) Justin Fields /

The difference between Justin Fields and Sam Darnold

Nobody was expecting miracles from Justin Fields right out of the gate. His outstanding college career at Ohio State showcased what he could potentially become at the next level, although he was picked apart more than any other prospect during the evaluation process – and unfairly so.

The Carolina Panthers were reportedly high on Fields before going in a different direction. Sam Darnold’s arrival altered their mindset considerably, even though a contingency plan better than P.J. Walker should have been in place in case things went wrong.

Fields is only going to get better.

That’s the difference.

For all the talk about Darnold being young, the simple fact of the matter is the player is in his fourth season in the NFL and the same problems regarding his production are constantly emerging and not being rectified.

This is all about the upside. And Fields has far more of that than Darnold.

There are going to be growing pains. But imagine what Fields could do on an offense that also includes Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, and Robby Anderson.

Fields is agile, accurate, and can make plays out of nothing. He gets fans on the edge of their seats and provides a level of excitement that Carolina hasn’t had since Cam Newton was in his prime.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing to have. But this decision looked pretty clear and for some unbeknown reason, the Panthers got too cute and mortgaged their short-term future on a reclamation project who is now past the point of no return.