Ranking the top 5 most likely post-draft starting Panthers QBs in 2022

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /
4 of 5
Carolina Panthers
(Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports) Jimmy Garoppolo /

San Francisco 49ers. JIMMY GAROPPOLO. 2. player. 42. . QB

Jimmy Garoppolo

The Carolina Panthers have a clear and urgent need to win next season. They also have a substantial amount of salary-cap space after restructuring deals and signings quality free agents on the cheap.

It’s not hard to see where this might be going.

Another trade for a veteran would provide a short-term solution to an ongoing problem. This could also give Matt Corral additional time to adjust and remove Sam Darnold completely from the equation.

Although the shoulder problem is a concern, Jimmy Garoppolo is a name to monitor in the lead-up to the campaign. The former second-round might be limited, but he is a proven winner and looks like a good scheme fit in Ben McAdoo’s system, which relies heavily on short-to-intermediate routes and playmakers doing their thing.

This does have some financial implications to consider. Garoppolo counts $26.95 million against the cap in 2022 on the final year of his deal, which is a problem unless the San Francisco 49ers either take Sam Darnold or agree to pay the player a substantial part of his contract.

Much will also depend on Trey Lance’s development and the compensation involved. But this is something the Panthers are likely to take a look at if they aren’t convinced about Darnold or Corral’s initial development.