Conflicting reports cloud Carolina Panthers QB plans before camp

(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) Scott Fitterer
(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) Scott Fitterer /

Some conflicting reports surrounding the Carolina Panthers and their plans at quarterback continue to cloud the organization ahead of training camp. 

Everyone is waiting with bated breath to see what the Carolina Panthers end up doing at the quarterback spot in 2022. Sam Darnold‘s production last season following his trade from the New York Jets left the organization with little alternative other than to explore potential upgrades this offseason, which has seen them strike out on big names in pursuit of genuine progression during the third campaign under Matt Rhule.

The Panthers did get the top quarterback prospect on their draft board when Matt Corral was taken at No. 94 overall. Although the Ole Miss product has plenty of work ahead before the coaching staff can put him under center with confidence.

Carolina also saved enough salary-cap space to keep its options open. Something that’s come with speculation surrounding another bold trade for Baker Mayfield or Jimmy Garoppolo before the team heads to Spartanburg for training camp.

There is a growing sense that if something’s going to happen, it will be in the next week or two. Otherwise, the Panthers will likely stick with Darnold as their Week 1 starter and hope Corral can develop quicker than anticipated.

That’s not exactly news most fans want to hear. They saw enough of Darnold last season to suggest he isn’t the answer and having to watch the USC product for a second campaign wouldn’t install any sort of confidence in Carolina’s chances.

Carolina Panthers QB plans are still up in the air according to the latest reports

Things happen quickly in the NFL, but there are now conflicting reports about the Panthers’ objectives at the most important position on the field to further add to the confusion.

Ian Rappaport of the NFL Network spoke about the issue during his latest appearance on the Pat McAfee Show, indicating that he believes Carolina is the only team searching for a new quarterback at this stage of the preparation period.

This sent pulses racing within the fanbase once again, as is normally the case given how desperate most are to move forward without Darnold. However, the claim was disputed by Will Kunkel and Sheena Quick of FOX Sports, who both stated that there has been no activity “for weeks” regarding the Panthers’ pursuit of either Mayfield or Garoppolo.

Confused? You should be.

However, we are a little under a month away from camp. Plenty of time for all this to change if the Panthers decided to pull the trigger.

Kunkel and Quick are both pretty dialed into what’s going on day to day where Carolina is concerned. But the sooner this situation is resolved one way or another, then everyone can move on and focus on the task at hand.

If Rhule came out and said Darnold was the guy, then fair enough. But there is no smoke without fire and if the Panthers feel like a deal can be reached, then it’s hard to deny it represents an upgrade whichever signal-caller joins.

Mayfield and Garoppolo are both expected to be ready for camp after offseason surgeries. Carolina will obviously monitor the situation closely but don’t rule out the possibility of Darnold manning the plate in 2022 with Corral waiting in the wings, either.

That might not be what fans want to hear. Especially considering how Darnold regressed once Christian McCaffrey went down through injury.

But as of right now, it’s a wait-and-see situation that could change in the blink of an eye.

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