4 major observations from Baker Mayfield’s ninth Panthers practice

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Baker Mayfield
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Baker Mayfield /
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Carolina Panthers
(Griffin Zetterberg-USA TODAY Sports) Baker Mayfield /

Baker Mayfield won’t be Carolina Panthers QB1 just yet

Despite increasing calls for the Carolina Panthers to name Baker Mayfield as their starting quarterback, the Heisman Trophy winner will be waiting a while yet if Matt Rhule has his way. The head coach declared during media availability following the scrimmage that the team will continue splitting reps between the two likely contenders for the No. 1 role, with a decision not expected until joint practices against the New England Patriots come to a conclusion.

That is a fortnight away. So if Mayfield is pronounced the starter, then there won’t be much time to fully acclimatize to the job before Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns.

Again, this has a college feel to it. The Panthers also want to keep Sam Darnold in the shop window if another team comes calling for a potential trade, one suspects.

Rhule indicated that competing versus Bill Belichick’s team will give those in power a better indication of where Carolina stands heading into the campaign. It could also determine whether it’s Mayfield or Darnold manning the plate for their season opener.

"“I’m not putting a timetable on the quarterback position until after we get back from the Patriots week. The Patriots week is a true litmus test for us. That will really show us where guys are.”"

There is a method to his madness. Or at least that’s how it is being portrayed.

However, the whole situation is becoming increasingly frustrating for those who feel the ‘competition’ should already have a clear and decisive winner.

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