3 reasons Carolina Panthers starting Sam Darnold is the right call

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Sam Darnold
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Sam Darnold /
3 of 3
Carolina Panthers
(David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

It couldn’t get much worse for the Carolina Panthers

After some dismal quarterback production in 2022 aside from some fleeting moments courtesy of P.J. Walker, the Carolina Panthers are at rock bottom. Sam Darnold becoming the starter once again was seemingly impossible before the campaign, but how much worse could it get in the grand scheme of things?

Sure, Darnold hasn’t reached anywhere near the heights anticipated when the New York Jets took him at No. 3 overall in 2018. His arm strength is impressive, but there remain severe footwork and decision-making issues that the player simply hasn’t improved effectively enough and if this trend continues in Week 12, then it will be cataclysmic for his career prospects beyond the current campaign.

The chances of Darnold getting an extension from the Panthers are almost non-existent. So this represents a solid opportunity for the signal-caller to put himself in the shop window for any interested party when the free-agent frenzy begins in 2023.

If Darnold cannot improve the Panthers’ offense, so what?

They aren’t making the playoffs and look set for a top-three draft selection barring a drastic turnaround. This puts them in a position to bring someone like Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud into the fold and finally formulate a long-term plan for sustained success under center.

Darnold starting again was something most fans hoped would never arrive. But after so much mediocrity or worse in recent years, the bar is remarkably low and it wouldn’t take much for the player to improve on what’s transpired throughout 2022.

Must Read. 5 quarterbacks the Carolina Panthers should avoid in 2023. light