Baker Mayfield – Carolina Panthers QB
After what seemed like an age, the Carolina Panthers finally got their signal-caller when a deal was struck with the Cleveland Browns for Baker Mayfield. Yet another major gamble under center has come with a mixed reaction from sections of the fanbase, who are becoming wary of seeing the organization take questionable swings at the most important position on the field.
Things haven’t exactly been a bed of roses for the Panthers since their controversial decision to release Cam Newton in 2020. Mayfield certainly has more about him than Sam Darnold or Teddy Bridgewater, but he’s coming off a down year and simply has to bounce back in a different environment.
One cannot accuse Mayfield of lacking confidence or motivation. The former Oklahoma standout was treated terribly by the Browns after he played through significant pain last season and this could provide the spark to better fortunes in Carolina despite time being against him, to a certain extent.
It’ll be a crash course in developing chemistry and learning the playbook for Mayfield during the team’s upcoming training camp in Spartanburg. Carolina is keen to see all four quarterbacks compete against each other and although the No. 1 overall selection in 2018 is the favorite to start in Week 1, there is a tremendous amount of pressure to pick things up in double-quick time.
Mayfield’s road to redemption could be great news for the Panthers’ chances of becoming competitive. If he cannot thrive in a new system, then the bust talk will likely grow as his long-term future becomes increasingly murky.