Where could Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold end up next if the team decides not to offer him a new deal in 2023?
Despite Sam Darnold making strides when he started for the Carolina Panthers in 2022, his future with the franchise remains in doubt. Frank Reich could have completely different plans for the position, which would leave the former first-round selection looking for alternative employment.
Although keeping Darnold around as a bridge option should be considered, it does seem unlikely looking at the full body of work since his trade from the New York Jets. A decision made primarily by Matt Rhule and one of the many reasons why he was shown the door.
Darnold is still relatively young in quarterback terms. However, his time in the league hasn’t been what many envisaged and if Carolina goes in a different direction, a backup role is probably the best he can hope for.
With this in mind, here are four possible destinations for Darnold in 2023 if the Panthers and the player go their separate ways.
Team No. 1
Sam Darnold could join the Falcons
All signs point to the Atlanta Falcons moving forward with Desmond Ridder in 2023. If it doesn’t work out, they can easily move on from the signal-caller in favor of one of the coveted prospects set to enter the league in 2024.
Atlanta could use a veteran behind Ridder in this scenario. Acquiring Sam Darnold gives them exactly that and also might provide some useful intel on the Carolina Panthers for good measure.