What are some major concerns that could emerge from the Carolina Panthers securing quarterback Baker Mayfield via trade?
Trading for Baker Mayfield is something that’s been in the pipeline for a number of weeks. The Carolina Panthers negotiated with the Cleveland Browns before the draft and mandatory minicamp, getting permission to speak with the quarterback in person to get this deal over the line before they head to Spartanburg for training camp.
It hasn’t cost the Panthers all that much to find out whether Mayfield can be the right guy. It’ll probably be a fourth-round pick in 2024 and $5 million in base salary that could rise to $8.5 million if the Oklahoma product reaches his incentives.
This represents a low-risk, high-reward move for the Panthers at a time when Matt Rhule needs to show that he is capable of leading this team moving forward. The trade has divided sections of the fanbase, but there was no way Carolina could go into the new campaign with any confidence if Sam Darnold was still their No. 1.
Although the positives are there for all to see, here are four major concerns surrounding Mayfield’s arrival in Carolina.
Concern No. 1
Baker Mayfield’s adaptability
Having a motivated Baker Mayfield could be the spark that ignites the Carolina Panthers next season. The quarterback is no doubt hurting from the way he was treated by the Cleveland Browns and if this newfound motivation is put to good use, then a career renaissance is well within his capabilities.
Becoming adaptable is the big key here. Mayfield has undergone plenty of coaching upheaval since entering the league and arriving at a completely different organization with a shift in ethos and way of thinking is going to take time.
This is a luxury Mayfield and the Panthers don’t have given the amount at stake in 2022. But getting him into the building with a fortnight or so until training camp could make a huge difference.