4 former Carolina Panthers that won't be missed in 2023
By Dean Jones
Sam Darnold - Former Carolina Panthers QB
One of the primary factors behind the previous regime's demise was a constant stream of quarterback acquisitions that couldn't meet expectations. The Carolina Panthers didn't seem to get anything right at football's most important position, which all started in 2020 when the team controversially released Cam Newton and everything went south from there.
Perhaps the biggest trade to blow up in their face - certainly from a compensation perspective - was acquiring Sam Darnold from the New York Jets. But yet again, the No. 3 overall selection in 2018 couldn't rid himself of some fundamental flaws that have blighted his professional career to date.
To Darnold's credit, he came in and did well last season. Steve Wilks insulated the signal-caller within a run-first scheme, keeping mistakes to a minimum and picking up some impressive wins along the way.
However, when the Panthers needed more from Darnold with the NFC South there for the taking, he fluffed his lines. And how apt it was for the one-time USC star to finish his career in Carolina with 43 passing yards and two interceptions in an unlikely win over the New Orleans Saints.
Carolina made a bold move for Bryce Young at No. 1 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft and also picked up Andy Dalton in free agency. Darnold won't be missed, but he's landed in a decent spot with the San Francisco 49ers and Kyle Shanahan's quarterback-friendly system.