5 Panthers players who cannot start 2022 season on a sour note
By Dean Jones
Sam Darnold – Carolina Panthers QB
Before we go on, it would be remiss not to mention the fact that the Carolina Panthers might not actually hand Sam Darnold another opportunity to start in 2022. The quarterback displayed the same key flaws following his trade from the New York Jets, leaving the organization to find a potential long-term option in third-round pick Matt Corral as a result.
Not only this, but the Panthers remain in contact with Cam Newton and have not ruled out the possibility of trading for another veteran depending on how things are shaping up later in the offseason.
Darnold has nobody to blame but himself, in all honesty. And if Carolina does end up going in a different direction before he takes a snap, then they are well within their right to do so with a lot on the line next time around.
Given that Darnold is owed a fully guaranteed $18.85 million next season, it would be a shock if he wasn’t the starter early on. But the calls to install Corral or someone else with poor production will be absolutely deafening.
If he gets one more go-around, then this will be Darnold’s final chance to prove himself. But there is a significant amount of work ahead for the USC product under the watchful eye of Ben McAdoo this offseason.