4 Panthers starters that could be benched during 2022 season
Baker Mayfield – Carolina Panthers QB
The Carolina Panthers swung for the fences yet again by acquiring Baker Mayfield from the Cleveland Browns. Perhaps it might be third time lucky for Matt Rhule after striking out on Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Darnold, but the quarterback must get up to speed quickly ahead of Week 1 against his former team.
Mayfield is undoubtedly an upgrade on paper with far more proven credentials than Darnold. Although the Panthers are keen on competition in training camp, they didn’t make this trade for the Oklahoma product to be sitting on the sidelines right out of the gate.
What comes next will be down to Mayfield. If he puts the chip on his shoulder to good use and flourishes in Ben McAdoo’s system, then it could be the road to redemption he’s looking for after being cast aside without so much as a thank you.
However, there is a scenario where things don’t click. Something that would be nothing short of disastrous for Rhule and the Panthers.
Carolina has taken the decision to bring Matt Corral on gradually. But if Mayfield struggles to regain his 2020 form, the calls to install the third-round pick out of Ole Miss into the lineup will be deafening.
And that could be the straw that broke the camel’s back for David Tepper regarding Rhule’s status as head coach.