4 big hits for Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer this offseason
By Dean Jones
Carolina Panthers got a good deal for Baker Mayfield
Despite drafting Matt Corral at No. 94 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers were clearly looking to get themselves a quarterback that could help the team win right now. Sam Darnold’s production following his trade from the New York Jets was a catastrophe and Scott Fitterer has always stated the franchise will keep shooting until they find the right guy.
After months of negotiations and patience, the Panthers finally secured the services of Baker Mayfield from the Cleveland Browns. A polarizing figure that was deemed surplus to requirements after his previous employers landed controversial signal-caller Deshaun Watson.
Mayfield has enough in his locker to be a significant upgrade on Darnold. Even though the Panthers are keen for true competition in training camp before officially naming their starter.
After some hair-trigger moves at the most important position on the field, the Panthers can ill afford to get another move wrong. However, biding their time at least enabled the franchise to strike a reasonable deal for Mayfield.
It’s likely to cost the Panthers a fourth-round selection in 2024 and just $5 million guaranteed after financial compromises were reached with the Browns and Mayfield. If it doesn’t work out, then Carolina has a potential long-term option in Corral providing the Ole Miss product develops as anticipated.
Mayfield has embraced this new opportunity. If he hits the ground running, then this could be Carolina’s missing piece of the puzzle on offense.