3 biggest losers in Carolina Panthers trade for Baker Mayfield
Sam Darnold – Carolina Panthers QB
It is hard to see Sam Darnold earning another opportunity as a starting quarterback. The fifth-year-pro is in the final year of his deal and the Baker Mayfield trade makes it obvious that his time with the Carolina Panthers is running out.
Any potential quarterback competition is going to see Darnold lose his starting spot if the Panthers even give him the chance to keep it.
There is no defending Darnold’s regression last season despite a below-average offensive line in front of him. The USC product has struggled with the New York Jets and Panthers throughout his career, throwing more interceptions than touchdowns, and is clearly a backup at this point.
The Mayfield trade changes Darnold’s outlook on the season completely, going from having the scope for redemption to riding the bench in favor of a far more dynamic quarterback.
Mayfield’s personality and playing style will resonate with the Carolina faithful and allow them to put their arms around the man under center in a way they never did with Darnold.
Darnold’s time in Carolina will be remembered for overpaying the Jets to get him in the first place and the absolute ineptitude to come up with a play when the team needed it most.
As rough as it might be for Darnold, the Panthers made the right decision and are in better hands with Mayfield. In the short-term, at least.