4 offseason decisions that severely cost the Carolina Panthers in 2022

(Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) Robbie Anderson
(Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) Robbie Anderson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold /

Carolina Panthers mismanaged the QB situation

The whole rationale behind bringing back Matt Rhule was his reasoning that the Carolina Panthers were simply a quarterback away. The head coach hadn’t found the right guy before 2022, with Teddy Bridgewater the best option during his tenure in retrospect.

A failed trade for Sam Darnold made it very obvious that this team would be in the quarterback market. Carolina opted to keep Darnold and P.J. Walker, adding Baker Mayfield to the roster in the hope of solving their issues.

While hindsight always provides perspective, it seemed obvious the Panthers should have either stuck with Walker and Darnold as they wound up doing at the end of this past season, or cut them both to bring in different options.

Matt Corral is obviously excluded from this conversation after his season-ending injury during a warmup game against the Buffalo Bills. Had the third-round selection been healthy, there’s no doubt he would have played a role at some stage.

Carolina’s season ended with the team in the exact same position at quarterback. Only this time, Darnold will be headed to free agency.

The Panthers wasted a season not finding a long-term answer or having any idea of how to properly manage the options at their disposal. With little cap space to make a big move, it seems likely Carolina will go down the draft route early in pursuit of finally getting things right at football’s most crucial position.

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