Can the Carolina Panthers trade Sam Darnold?
After acquiring Baker Mayfield and Matt Corral, the Carolina Panthers now have an elephant in the room. Sam Darnold remains around thanks in no small part to the fully guaranteed $18.85 million coming his way after the organization triggered his fifth-year option, which will go down as one of the most costly errors in franchise history.
Darnold’s production in training camp has been encouraging. But performing with almost no pressure during practice was never the issue regarding the No. 3 overall selection in 2018.
Getting it done when things get competitive remains a big complication. Something Darnold hasn’t been able to accomplish over his first four seasons in the league.
There’s a lot to be said of Darnold’s conduct this offseason. He’s handled all the speculation well despite an uncertain future, but there’s no doubt the former USC star has his work cut out seeing the field once again in 2022.
Whether the Panthers are keeping Darnold involved to generate trade interest is debatable. Calls haven’t been forthcoming so far, but that could all change if injuries occur in camp or another team feels like they need a better backup option.
Carolina will likely eat a sizeable portion of Darnold’s contract. And releasing the signal-caller entirely cannot be ruled out depending on how fast Corral develops.