Carolina Panthers QB1
- Baker Mayfield vs. Sam Darnold
In reality, the chances are there’s only one winner if this battle plays out as expected in training camp. But Matt Rhule and Scott Fitterer have been insistent that Baker Mayfield must win the job.
Despite the Carolina Panthers drafting Matt Corral at No. 94 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft, it was always expected the former Ole Miss Rebel would be a project and not ready to start this season. After the inept production from Sam Darnold in 2021, it would be naïve for the organization to head into the new campaign with no serious quarterback competition.
The addition of former No. 1 overall selection Mayfield, who has already been spotted at a Charlotte FC soccer match, means the Panthers should see a vast improvement in play under center for the first time since 2018.
It’s expected Mayfield will win the job despite the coaching staff lauding Darnold for his improvement. It’s always been easy for the USC product to look good in shorts – when the pads come on it tends to be a different story.
If the scenario unfolds as expected, it leaves the Panthers will the dilemma of do they keep Darnold as a backup, possibly stunting the development of Corral, or do they move away from the player via trade or release that would come with an astronomical dead-cap figure.