5 Carolina Panthers players with big shoes to fill in 2022
By Dean Jones
Baker Mayfield – Carolina Panthers QB
- Shoes to fill – Cam Newton
Much like the situation at middle linebacker, the Carolina Panthers have been cursed at the quarterback position since deciding to release Cam Newton in favor of Teddy Bridgewater in 2020. This move blew up in their face and after Sam Darnold failed miserably, the organization went back to the drawing board once again this offseason.
The Panthers picked up an intriguing development project in Matt Corral. But their urgency to win immediately saw the franchise also secure the services of Baker Mayfield after finally striking a deal with the Cleveland Browns.
Mayfield is coming off a down year but has credentials Darnold doesn’t possess. There is also a swagger to his playing style that might not be on Newton’s level, but it’s the best Carolina’s had since the former NFL MVP was in his prime.
Whether this comes off or not is the big question. Mayfield’s production in 2020 would give the Panthers a chance to progress, but there are also concerns about just how much his regression was down to a torn labrum in his shoulder last time around.
This could be the last time Mayfield gets an undisputed starting position. The Oklahoma product also has a significant chip on his shoulder after the Browns cast him aside for Deshaun Watson amid all his sexual misconduct allegations.
What comes next for Mayfield will have grave ramifications. Not just for the player, but for the Panthers, too.