4 options the Panthers have with Sam Darnold after 2022 resurgence

(Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /
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Carolina Panthers
(Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Carolina Panthers let Sam Darnold leave in free agency

Considering how the past two years have gone and Sam Darnold’s history, this is clearly the best move for the Carolina Panthers. The quarterback was great down the stretch, but a terrible final game against the New Orleans Saints and key turnovers against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in what was essentially a playoff game remind fans why they can’t count on him.

Darnold has all of the talent needed to play the quarterback position. However, his decision-making and poor ball security consistently cost Carolina over the last two seasons.

The Panthers need to move on. Whether that means taking a big swing in the draft or finding their next quarterback in the trade or free-agent market remains to be seen.

Darnold might be good enough in what looks to be an awful NFC South in 2023 to compete for the division. But what good is making the playoffs if you don’t have a quarterback capable of pushing you past the next round?

Keeping Darnold represents waving the white flag in the playoffs. With a new coaching staff coming into the fold, Carolina cannot afford to sit in mediocrity and move forward with a signal-caller that consistently comes up short when the lights are brightest.

That might sound harsh given Darnold’s improved production under center. But there is no room for sentiment when building an NFL roster capable of challenging.