5 realistic quarterback options for the Carolina Panthers in 2023

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) Matt Corral
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) Matt Corral /
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What realistic quarterback options could the Carolina Panthers potentially secure during an important 2023 offseason for the franchise?

No sooner had the Carolina Panthers been eliminated from playoff contention after a disappointing defeat at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, speculation was rife about what the franchise’s immediate future will look like. This starts with the head coach – whether Steve Wilks or someone else – but the quarterback position is another important element to the upcoming offseason that’s likely to gain significant interest.

After a series of failed personnel moves under Matt Rhule centering on suspect trades, the Panthers must be more cautious in their approach. Hopefully, general manager Scott Fitterer will have a bigger say in the decision-making process, but team owner David Tepper’s influence is something else that could complicate matters.

Almost every option is on the table for Carolina. What conclusion they make is likely to shape the short and long-term future of the organization once a new coaching regime is confirmed.

With this in mind, here are five realistic quarterback options for the Panthers in 2023.

Quarterback No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Sam Darnold – Carolina Panthers QB

After a mini-resurgence since becoming the starting quarterback, the future prospects of Sam Darnold have improved. The former USC star gave up three turnovers – two of which weren’t necessarily his fault – in Week 17 at the Buccaneers, but he threw for 341 yards and three scores during another positive performance overall.

While it would be unlikely a long-term extension comes Darnold’s way, the Panthers might need a bridge option to man the plate next season until someone else is ready to take charge under center. Whether a complete rest would be more beneficial is a question for Scott Fitterer and the next Carolina Panthers head coach to figure out.