4 Carolina Panthers that fans love to hate ahead of 2022 season

(Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) David Tepper
(Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) David Tepper /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Sam Darnold – Carolina Panthers QB

Much like the situation regarding Cam Erving, it was not Sam Darnold‘s fault that the Carolina Panthers shelled out three draft selections over a two-year period to secure his services after such dismal production on the New York Jets. The latest in a series of flawed moves at the quarterback position that continues to hold the organization back under Matt Rhule.

Darnold actually started off pretty well throughout a cupcake three games to open the 2021 season. But an injury to Christian McCaffrey derailed everything and once the signal-caller was tasked with more in the way of responsibility, he crumbled accordingly.

There are some flaws to Darnold’s game that continue to pop up when push comes to shove. The USC product’s footwork is suspect at best and this is matched by poor decision-making in key moments to further complicate matters.

The Panthers didn’t have anything like the necessary stability on their offensive line to help Darnold. There was also no contingency plan if McCaffrey went out despite the running back featuring just three times in 2020.

Carolina wasted no time in trying to find an upgrade on Darnold this offseason. Baker Mayfield was secured from the Cleveland Browns after on-and-off negotiations that went on for months, which leaves the No. 3 overall selection in 2018 facing a real fight for his future.