3 pros and cons to the Carolina Panthers extending Sam Darnold in 2023

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /
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What are some pros and cons to the Carolina Panthers offering quarterback Sam Darnold a contract extension for the 2023 season?

The 2022 season may have been one of ups and downs, twists and turns, and entirely unexpected outcomes. However, the thing that quite possibly caught the Carolina Panthers off-guard more than anything else was the late-season emergence of Sam Darnold.

No one in the Panthers organization or fanbase can honestly say they believed Darnold would come in and almost lead the team to a shocking playoff berth. But that’s exactly what the embattled quarterback did.

Like it or not, the NFL is a quarterback league. There is a reason their contracts are so much more lucrative than anyone else’s after all.

Without that stalwart leader under center, a team can only go so far. Just look at the Tennessee Titans after and some may argue before Ryan Tannehill went down for the season. A once dangerous team was only a shell of itself without that signal caller.

Is that to say that Darnold is an elite threat at quarterback? Not even close, but that isn’t the point really.

You don’t have to have a quarterback like Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen to win games in the NFL. It helps, but this is a team sport first and foremost and as long as your signal caller isn’t actively losing the game, there is always a chance for something special to happen.

Darnold proved this late in the year before some costly turnovers reared their ugly head against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

With that said there are plenty of arguments for and against keeping Darnold around for another year. Each has merit in its own right.

Let’s take a look at three pros and cons surrounding Carolina potentially extending Darnold in 2023.