Panthers depth chart focus: What is the plan at quarterback in 2022?

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Sam Darnold
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Sam Darnold /
3 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Sam Darnold – Carolina Panthers QB

Sam Darnold‘s trade from the New York Jets cost the Carolina Panthers three draft picks over two years. As it turned out, the organization also sacrificed the No. 38 overall selection in 2022 after a disastrous run that saw them lose 12 of their final 14 league games last season.

A promising start from Darnold quickly disintegrated once Christian McCaffrey went out of the lineup. This exposed the former first-round pick’s significant flaws once again, which set off a chain of events that left the signal-caller’s career hanging by a thread.

The Panthers picking up Darnold’s fifth-year option with a fully guaranteed $18.85 million was a major stumbling block this offseason. As expected, there has been no trade interest in the USC product, so it’s a lot of cash to just cut loose entirely and the main reason why he’s probably still around.

Darnold remains confident that he can beat out Matt Corral for the starting job. Even if he does, the margin for error has long gone and all it will take is one bad performance for the fans to demand something new and exciting.

Of course, the Panthers have the cap space to make something else happen should they wish. If this scenario comes to fruition, then it will likely be the final nail in Darnold’s coffin.