4 critical factors behind Baker Mayfield’s failed Panthers tenure

(Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images) Baker Mayfield
(Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images) Baker Mayfield /
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What were the critical factors behind Baker Mayfield’s failed stint with the Carolina Panthers that ended abruptly upon their bye week return?

Given how well Sam Darnold managed things in Week 12 and the prospect of P.J. Walker’s return from injury, things looked bleak for Baker Mayfield. Something that didn’t go unnoticed by the quarterback, who asked for and was granted an early release by the Carolina Panthers on Monday.

This brings an end to Mayfield’s brief time with the Panthers. The former Oklahoma star started just six games and couldn’t galvanize his career behind a much improved offensive line and one of the league’s best dual-threat running backs alongside him in the backfield, which was extremely disappointing.

Mayfield will now test the waiver wire in the hope someone picks him up. If not, then he’ll have to wait around in the hope another franchise comes calling with just five games remaining in 2022.

This is a sorry outcome for all parties involved. But what were the critical factors that played a leading role behind Mayfield’s failed stint in Carolina?

Critical Factor No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Baker Mayfield /

Baker Mayfield’s late arrival

After a series of failed personnel moves that cost the Carolina Panthers a lot financially and in terms of draft capital, those in power were not willing to overpay for Baker Mayfield. After discussions during the 2022 NFL Draft came to nothing, negotiations continued before a deal was finally struck shortly before training camp.

While the Panthers will be giving up nothing more than a fifth-round selection for Mayfield, it made things complicated. The signal-caller had to familiarize himself with a completely new set-up and immerse himself within Ben McAdoo’s complex scheme for good measure.

Not an ideal situation. And looking back, it left Mayfield playing catch-up at an important stage of the preparation period.