4 Panthers players who haven’t matched offseason hype in 2022
By Dean Jones
Baker Mayfield – Carolina Panthers QB
The Carolina Panthers sent shockwaves through the entire league when they made yet another bold quarterback trade shortly before descending on Spartanburg for their annual training camp. This time, it was Baker Mayfield in the spotlight after he was deemed surplus to requirements by the Cleveland Browns.
Unlike the Sam Darnold acquisition, the general consensus was that Carolina got a good deal for Mayfield. Even if waiting until the last minute complicated his ability to develop chemistry with the team’s primary playmakers.
Mayfield also entered into a laughable quarterback competition with Darnold, splitting reps with the former USC star before getting the official nod. It was a tremendous camp for the signal-caller in difficult circumstances, but this did not transition to a competitive setting as he failed to seize the moment before injury struck in Week 5.
One can blame Matt Rhule’s inept game-planning, but Mayfield wasn’t good enough and even though he did well when installed during the second half of Carolina’s embarrassing loss at the Cincinnati Bengals, Steve Wilks clearly prefers P.J. Walker right now as part of his weekly evaluation under center.
Whether Mayfield gets another chance remains to be seen. The Panthers are currently sending Cleveland a fifth-round selection, which increases to a fourth-rounder if the Oklahoma product plays more than 70 percent of snaps – something those in power might look to avoid.