5 players the Panthers should move on from before the 2022 season

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

87. . QB. Carolina Panthers. SAM DARNOLD. 5. player

Sam Darnold – Carolina Panthers QB

Sam Darnold‘s situation is a puzzling one.

In some respects, the Carolina Panthers could move forward with the quarterback in 2022 thanks to his fully guaranteed $18.85 million that they triggered shortly after his trade from the New York Jets. But considering how much the player has struggled since entering the league, it’s a huge gamble and one that might come with some franchise-altering ramifications.

Darnold might be extra motivated this offseason with some genuine competition for the first time. And it’s also worth remembering that he has made a good start to OTAs that’s reportedly led to Matt Rhule become more welcoming to the idea of starting the signal-caller again, according to Joe Person of The Athletic.

This will obviously depend on how much and how quickly Matt Corral picks things up. There is also the possibility of the Panthers exploring another trade for someone like Baker Mayfield, with Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports stating that discussions are ongoing between Carolina and the Browns.

Based on what Darnold’s shown in a competitive setting and alarming regression last season without Christian McCaffrey to lean on, he is not the answer. Although there are plenty of moving parts to this situation that could see the USC product removed from the equation entirely when it’s all said and done.

This is likely to come with a significant dead-cap figure if a trade partner isn’t found. So the Panthers would probably like to split the cost over the next two or three years in an ideal world.

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