Despite losing his starting job to Baker Mayfield, the Carolina Panthers should keep quarterback Sam Darnold around for the 2022 season.
The Carolina Panthers announced what many in the fanbase saw as an inevitability earlier this week, confirming Baker Mayfield as the starting quarterback. This is a decision that will set the Oklahoma product up for the ultimate revenge game against the Cleveland Browns in Week 1.
Mayfield being named the starter isn’t surprising despite the quarterback competition. The recent acquisition would have needed a disastrous camp to lose the job to Sam Darnold or rookie Matt Corral based on the Panthers‘ need to win right away.
Corral is now out for the season with a serious foot injury and Darnold’s future is up in the air.
P.J. Walker or Darnold will start the season behind Mayfield depending on what Carolina decides to do with the No. 3 overall selection in 2018. It seems unlikely the team is going to find anyone desperate enough to trade for the signal-caller considering it would be his third franchise in as many years with obvious regression in each of the last two.
Carolina’s options with Darnold are either keeping the quarterback as insurance or eating a significant amount of dead money. Either way, it isn’t an ideal situation for the Panthers.
Given recent events, keeping Darnold is the better option for Carolina. This might seem an odd decision at first glance, but looking closely at the situation there are reasons it makes far more sense than removing him from the equation entirely.
With that being said, here are three reasons why the Panthers should keep Darnold in 2022, even if another organization does come calling.