4 veteran wildcards who could shift the balance for Panthers in 2022

(Griffin Zetterberg-USA TODAY Sports) Baker Mayfield
(Griffin Zetterberg-USA TODAY Sports) Baker Mayfield /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Baker Mayfield /

Baker Mayfield – Carolina Panthers QB

Baker Mayfield is the ultimate wildcard.

A player that will make or break the Carolina Panthers in 2022.

Mayfield was acquired via trade from the Cleveland Browns after lengthy negotiations between all parties. The quarterback giving up $3.5 million to get this deal over the line suggests he feels like this is the right spot, but the challenge awaiting the former Oklahoma sensation cannot be understated.

Now that speculation surrounding his short-term future is over, Mayfield must get on the same page with his pass-catchers and also become familiar with Ben McAdoo’s system in a short space of time before taking on his old employers in Week 1.

Not the easiest task in the world. But the player should be highly motivated to prove his doubters wrong and especially after the treatment received by the Browns before and after their successful pursuit of Deshaun Watson.

There is a chance this goes wrong and the Panthers fall victim to yet another bad gamble on a veteran quarterback. However, this could also be the fire that lights up an offense loaded with outstanding playmakers.

It’s a fine line, so watching Mayfield and how he adapts in camp will be telling. He’ll need some help, but there is finally hope that wasn’t there when Sam Darnold was the undisputed starter.

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