5 early bold predictions for the Carolina Panthers season in 2022

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /
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Carolina Panthers
(Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) Baker Mayfield /

Baker Mayfield leads Carolina Panthers to the playoffs

This is the story that just won’t go away. The drafting of former Ole Miss signal-caller Matt Corral in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft has done very little to alleviate the rumors of a potential trade that brings Baker Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers.

One could deem it inevitable that Mayfield finds his way to Carolina this offseason. It’s clear from reports that the relationship between the former Heisman Trophy winner and the Cleveland Browns is damaged beyond repair

Mayfield found himself in the space of just a couple of weeks going from QB1 in Cleveland to potentially a QB4. Regardless of what happens in the DeShaun Watson scenario, the Oklahoma product will not suit up in a Browns uniform again.

With only Carolina and Seattle left needing a quarterback and Pete Carrol throwing his weight behind recent acquisition Drew Lock, this paves the way for the Panthers to get the former Heisman Trophy winner through the door.

Despite the difficulty of the Panthers’ schedule this year, the NFC is a significantly weaker than the AFC and it’s distinctly possible that Carolina could find themselves in playoffs with an 8-9 record. Some key losses in free agency such as Haason Reddick and Stephon Gilmore won’t help, but those in power have managed to arguably improve the roster and all that’s needed is a man under center to get them going in the right direction.

Mayfield is a real upgrade over Sam Darnold. Let’s not forget in 2020 he led the Browns to an 11-5 record throwing 26 passing touchdowns and a further three scores in Cleveland’s first playoff win since 1994.

The player competes best with a chip on his shoulder as he showed during his collegiate career. If the Panthers do bring him in, Mayfield will feel he has something to prove and with an upgraded offensive line and the return of Christian McCaffrey, a playoff berth wouldn’t be out of the question.