4 major observations from Baker Mayfield at Panthers joint practice Day 1

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Baker Mayfield
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Baker Mayfield /
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Carolina Panthers
(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Baker Mayfield /

Carolina Panthers QB decision isn’t far away

This was pretty much a rubber between Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold thanks in no small part to an outstanding New England Patriots secondary. The wide receivers did get open more frequently as the practice went on, but the chemistry regarding distribution just wasn’t there more often than not.

If nothing else, it should further heighten the sense of urgency for the Carolina Panthers to name a starter and provide either Mayfield or Darnold with the majority of snaps. This practice and the obvious lack of cohesion might speed up the process.

The Panthers wasted little time in naming Ikem Ekwonu as their starting left tackle following practice, with Matt Rhule adding that Brady Christensen and Michael Jordan will compete for the left guard position. A race that appears to be one-sided, in all honesty.

Mayfield might not have set the world alight with his production on Tuesday. But the overall body of work coupled with his previous production still indicates he’s a much better option than Darnold next season.

The longer Carolina plays this out, the more complicated it’s going to be. Day 1 of joint practices with the Patriots was a stark reminder of the issues that can emerge, so those in power should react accordingly.

Anything can happen where the Panthers and their quarterbacks are concerned. All fans can do is wait and pray it’s the right call.

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