Sam Darnold – Carolina Panthers QB
The chances of Sam Darnold being the starter in training camp appear slim. But with Baker Mayfield now drawing significant interest from the Seattle Seahawks according to Josina Anderson of CBS Sports, it cannot be ruled out entirely.
In fairness to Darnold, he’s conducted himself well this offseason amid mountains of speculation about his future and which upgrades the Carolina Panthers have been searching for at the quarterback spot. Reports about his approach throughout offseason workouts so far have also been glowing from head coach Matt Rhule and players.
That won’t mean all that much to fans, who saw the same last summer before Darnold dismally failed to grasp a significant opportunity under center following his trade from the New York Jets.
One could argue that losing Christian McCaffrey was a blow and the offensive line play was less than stellar. But this is a trend we’ve seen throughout Darnold’s four-year career and it’s going to take a turnaround of epic proportions to change perceptions at this stage.
Carolina thought they’d secured the steal of the century in Darnold. A player those in power believed was a product of his environment in New York with the intangibles to thrive in a different environment.
How wrong they were.