4 reasons the Panthers shouldn’t bring back Sam Darnold in 2023

(Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images) Sam Darnold
(Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images) Sam Darnold /
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Sam Darnold
(Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Sam Darnold’s full body of work

As stated previously, Sam Darnold looked like a different guy for the most part in 2022. And it wasn’t all because of the beard.

Darnold looked confident, poised, and efficient. There were times when turnovers cost the Carolina Panthers -especially in their NFC South title showdown with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – but this was a clear step in the right direction for the No. 3 overall selection in 2018.

That was encouraging and surprising in equal measure. But upon examining Darnold’s full body of work since entering the league, he cannot be counted on for consistent production in pressurized settings.

One could make an argument for the New York Jets mismanaging his early development. Things didn’t get much better in this regard under Matt Rhule in Carolina, who seemed incapable of nurturing talent thanks to suspect coaching methods that weren’t befitting an NFL franchise.

Darnold has a career completion percentage of 59.7 percent and has 61 touchdowns to 55 interceptions over his five years in the NFL. Therefore, one considers it highly unlikely that any new head coach would bet their short or long-term fortunes on the signal-caller despite his career taking a promising step forward in 2022.

Only time will tell, obviously, But there is enough film to suggest other avenues should be explored.