4 teams that could sign Sam Darnold minutes after potential release

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /
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Which teams could potentially sign quarterback Sam Darnold if the quarterback is released by the Carolina Panthers following Baker Mayfield’s arrival?

Although the Carolina Panthers are reportedly looking to keep Sam Darnold despite acquiring Baker Mayfield from the Cleveland Browns, the reality is far different. The quarterback is unlikely to be around before the start of Week 1 and even sooner than that if another team across the league suffers an injury at the position in training camp.

Darnold only has himself to blame. A torrid first season with the Panthers following his high-profile trade from the New York Jets left the franchise with no alternative other than to explore almost every available option in pursuit of an upgrade this spring.

Now Mayfield is the man, the Panthers have a problem on their hands with Darnold. They could hold out for a potential trade, but a scenario where the signal-caller is released and his $18.85 million dead-cap is split up over a number of years cannot be ruled out, either.

With this in mind, here are four teams that could snap up Darnold minutes after his potential release by the Panthers.

Team No. 1

Sam Darnold
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Los Angeles Rams could sign Sam Darnold

Returning to California and being closer to home is something that would interest Sam Darnold after a dismal first four years in the league. Even though there is absolutely no chance of him earning playing time ahead of Matthew Stafford, landing on the Super Bowl champions could be a tremendous opportunity for the USC product to regroup on a team with hopes of going back-to-back.

John Wolford and Bryce Perkins are the two quarterbacks sitting behind Stafford on the Los Angeles Rams depth chart. If Sean McVay felt Darnold would be a better backup option on the cheap, then this situation is not as far-fetched as it seems.

Los Angeles looks primed for a tilt at defending their crown. An environment that Darnold has yet to experience during his NFL career to date.