4 reasons the Panthers might not gamble on another veteran QB

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

Carolina Panthers are stuck with Sam Darnold

Trading for Sam Darnold has the potential to define Matt Rhule’s era if things go south once again in 2022. Sacrificing three draft picks – including the No. 38 overall selection last year – to acquire the signal-caller was a significant gamble that just didn’t pay off as anyone anticipated.

The Carolina Panthers also triggered Darnold’s fifth-year option with a fully guaranteed $18.85 million. Another grave error of judgment that’s hindered their plans this offseason.

Darnold has reportedly come into early offseason workouts with a new attitude that has drawn praise from Rhule and D.J. Moore. But his production when push comes to shove leaves a lot to be desired and the Panthers giving him one final chance to prove himself is a risky call to make.

Had Darnold not been under contract in 2022, then chances are he’d be on another organization in a backup capacity. However, with training camp looming large there is a growing belief he’ll be Carolina’s top option for their Week 1 game against the Cleveland Browns at Bank of America Stadium.

Perhaps there could be more to come from Darnold with Ben McAdoo calling the plays behind a better offensive line and Christian McCaffrey alongside him in the backfield. And it’s not as if other teams are banging down the door to take the USC product off their hands, in any case.