February 1, 2023
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Sam Darnold’s Starting Career May Officially Be Over

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Sam Darnold #14 of the Carolina Panthers warms up before the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on October 31, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia.
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)


The Carolina Panthers want to end the Sam Darnold era and his career as a starting quarterback.

After trading for the quarterback last season, they are already set to move on from him one year later.

The team got Matt Corral during the NFL Draft as one way to replace the young quarterback.

However, they are pushing for another trade deal for another veteran quarterback to replace him.

That quarterback is Baker Mayfield.

But would it be wise for the Panthers to make a deal for the disgruntled quarterback in Cleveland?


Panthers Would Need To Trade One Of Their Receivers For Mayfield

The Panthers receiving corps posted disappointing numbers in 2021.

However, some of that is because the team had multiple quarterbacks and offensive coordinators throughout the season.

If they get Mayfield, they would upset one of their receivers who’s already talked about retiring.

That receiver is Robbie Anderson, and he’s made it known since April he doesn’t want Mayfield in Carolina.

With his stance on Mayfield, and recently deleted tweet about retiring, the Panthers will need to trade him to Cleveland for Mayfield.

However, the Browns might not want him, seeing he’s already talked about retirement.

This puts the Panthers in a pickle where they could lose their second-best wide receiver no matter what they do.

They either lose him in a trade for the Cleveland quarterback, or they lose him without trading him if they get Mayfield.

At least using him in a trade deal would help them get something in return.

But in doing this, it leaves them with only one top receiver in DJ Moore.


Would Starting Matt Corral Be The Better Option?

With the disruption from Anderson, and the clear lack of faith in Darnold, would Carolina be better off with Corral as their starting QB?

It’s worth a shot, as the Panthers are in a tough NFC South.

However, throwing the rookie quarterback into the fire could prove dangerous.

But it’s something that the team might do if they can’t get Mayfield and would still rather have another quarterback over Darnold.

Corral’s numbers in his last two college seasons were good.

His 2020 and 2021 seasons saw him pass for over 3,000 yards each season.

He was also the only college QB in 2021 to pass for over 3,000 yards and rush for over 500.

With those numbers, he’s a Cam Newton-like quarterback for the Panthers.

It could help fire up the Panthers offense that sunk last season after they lost Christian McCaffrey.


No Matter Who Carolina Picks, It Most Likely Won’t Be Darnold

The Panthers have shown all throughout the 2022 offseason they want to move on from Darnold.

They first tried trading for Deshaun Watson, but failed to get him.

Next, they took Corral during the 2022 NFL Draft.

Now, they are still trying to get Mayfield from the Browns.

All these things point to an end with Darnold as the team’s starting quarterback.

This means the team wasted needed resources in 2021 for a quarterback they don’t want after one brief season with the team.

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