5 Carolina Panthers on the hot seat following 2022 NFL Draft

(Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports) Ben McAdoo
(Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports) Ben McAdoo /
3 of 5
Carolina Panthers
(Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

. QB. Carolina Panthers. SAM DARNOLD. 3. player. 87

Sam Darnold – Carolina Panthers QB

There is nothing Sam Darnold could do about his status this offseason. The Carolina Panthers have been open and honest with the quarterback about exploring other options, so it was simply a case of just waiting it out and focusing on his own game rather than on everything transpiring around the signal-caller.

As it turned out, Darnold will not get an instant replacement under center.

Not yet, anyway.

Carolina drafted Matt Corral instead of going down the trade route. Although the Ole Miss product has a ton of likable traits and seems like a good fit in Ben McAdoo’s scheme, it might take some time for the prospect to progress and eventually become the team’s starting option.

This is great news for Darnold providing he shows enough during the early portion of OTAs and training camp under the watchful eye of McAdoo. Much will depend on how quickly Corral adjusts to life at the next level, but it would be a surprise if the former USC star was not the Panthers’ starter in Week 1.

One final opportunity to prove he can salvage his career.

Even if Darnold is manning the plate on opening day, the leash is likely to be very short. The Panthers have also not ruled out another move at the position if they feel like the player hasn’t brought his skills on during the offseason.