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

Carolina Panthers’ slow start

With the NFL world scrutinizing his every move, it was absolutely imperative for Baker Mayfield to begin the season well. And the football gods threw up a tantalizing first contest against the team that cast him aside during the offseason.

Mayfield couldn’t get one over on the Cleveland Browns during a disappointing performance. The same transpired at the New York Giants in Week 2, but there were slight signs of life against the New Orleans Saints that provided hope more could be on the way.

The Carolina Panthers capitulated against the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers, which was the final straw for David Tepper regarding Matt Rhule’s status as head coach. Mayfield also spent time on injured/reserve and started just once more during another woeful effort at the Baltimore Ravens.

One could blame Carolina’s offseason choices or Ben McAdoo’s bland scheme as reasons behind Mayfield’s poor start. But the player’s own production left a lot to be desired and it didn’t take long for most fans to turn their attention to the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft class as a result.

Batted passes, hesitancy in the pocket, and a complete lack of confidence in his ability from McAdoo meant a bleak future awaited. And even though his release was something of a shock considering the timing, this break-up was almost inevitable once the 2022 campaign concluded.