Panthers news: Bobby Slowik, Ben Johnson, Bryce Young and Baker Mayfield

Examining the latest Carolina Panthers news and rumors from around the media.

Bobby Slowik
Bobby Slowik / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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How the Carolina Panthers failed Baker Mayfield

Watching Baker Mayfield enjoy a career renaissance with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers stings. This was the confident quarterback the Carolina Panthers thought they were getting following their trade with the Cleveland Browns in 2022. Instead, the former Oklahoma phenom was mismanaged, failed to make the necessary impression, and was moved on swiftly.

Mayfield deserves enormous credit for the way he's galvanized his career. Winning the NFC South title at Bank of America Stadium against the team that wrote him off represented vindication. This was swiftly followed by an impressive wildcard weekend triumph over the Philadelphia Eagles, which all but secured an extended stay with the franchise in 2024.

When examining what went wrong for Mayfield in Carolina, a former teammate in 2022 - speaking to Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer under anonymity - stated via Yardbarker that Matt Rhule and his staff didn't play to his strengths. As it turned out, this was also the final nail in the coach's proverbial coffin.

"I would say we didn’t play to Baker’s strengths. I always felt like his best year (with the Cleveland Browns), there was a lot of rollout and getting Baker on the move. Shifts. Motions. Movement. I always felt like we were fairly stagnant (during Mayfield’s time running the offense), and Baker stayed in the pocket."

Ex-Panthers player via Yardbarker

Chalk this up to yet more suspect handling of football's most important position. This even continued under Frank Reich, a mistake any incoming head coach cannot make if they want to maximize the talent at Bryce Young's disposal.