Sam Darnold is nominally a part of the Panthers’ quarterback competitors, however after Carolina acquired Baker Mayfield earlier this month, Darnold appears unlikely to re-emerge because the membership’s starter. In reality, some across the NFL consider Darnold won’t be on the Panthers’ roster when Week 1 rolls round. If Carolina opts to maneuver on from the previous No. 3 general decide, the place might he land?
Will the Panthers commerce Sam Darnold?
The Panthers got a sweetheart deal on Mayfield. They picked him up from the Browns in alternate for under a conditional 2024 fifth-round decide, and so they’ll pay him slightly below $5 million in 2022. Mayfield has persistently posted higher outcomes than his 2018 draft mate Darnold, and he’s the clear favourite to turn into Carolina’s beginning QB.
Does that imply Darnold might be on the transfer? Not should you hearken to Panthers basic supervisor Scott Fitterer.
“No,” Fitterer said last week. “No groups have referred to as. We’re not trying to transfer Sam in any respect. I mentioned this final week. Sam’s very a lot part of this competitors. I believe this’ll be nice. It’s nice for Baker, it’s nice for Sam. And I believe they’re each gonna rise and play their greatest soccer they’ve.”
Nonetheless, knowledgeable hypothesis leads us to consider that Darnold might be accessible on the commerce market. Regardless of his poor manufacturing on the NFL degree, many groups might be enthusiastic about taking an opportunity on a signal-caller along with his pedigree.
That likelihood would doubtless be comparatively risk-free. Darnold wouldn’t be becoming a member of a brand new crew as something greater than a backup, and he’d most likely command much less draft capital than Mayfield. Plus, the Panthers would doubtless must eat a considerable portion of Darnold’s absolutely assured $18.858 million wage.
With these caveats in thoughts, which groups could be enthusiastic about buying Darnold at a team-friendly price?
The Seahawks are the one crew within the league with out an apparent NFL-caliber beginning QB on their roster, and Darnold might conceivably beat out Drew Lock and Geno Smith. Pete Carroll’s mantra is all about competitors, so why not add one other face to the combination? If neither Darnold nor Lock proves themselves as a long-term possibility in 2022, Seattle might take an early-first-round swing as a quarterback in subsequent 12 months’s draft.
Whereas the Texans need to determine what they’ve in Davis Mills, there’s no assure the 2021 third-rounder will develop right into a long-term starter. Houston gained’t compete subsequent season, so that they have the liberty to take probabilities that different golf equipment could draw back from. Darnold wouldn’t imperil Mills’ alternative to open the 12 months as Houston’s beginning QB, however the Texans would have the choice to show to Darnold if Mills struggled down the stretch.
San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco will solely make sense as a Darnold touchdown spot if the 49ers move on from Jimmy Garoppolo. May Jimmy G. find yourself in Cleveland as a one-year Deshaun Watson resolution? In that case, the 49ers would wish a brand new backup quarterback — except they need to roll with Nate Sudfeld, arguably the worst No. 2 option in the league. Darnold is athletic sufficient to run some semblance of the Trey Lance offense if San Francisco’s starter have been to go down.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers chosen Kyle Trask within the second spherical of the 2021 draft, however he was not often talked about as a dependable successor when Tom Brady initially introduced his retirement. If Tampa Bay isn’t bought on Trask, they might usher in Darnold in its place. Carolina could not need to commerce inside the division, however they’ll most likely take something they will get for Darnold.
Los Angeles Rams
John Wolford began a playoff recreation for the Rams after the 2020 season, however he’s a moderately uninspiring possibility as a backup to Matthew Stafford. Sean McVay has nearly as good an opportunity as any coach within the NFL to harness Darnold’s expertise. The transfer to LA would profit the 25-year-old, too — performing nicely in a big media market in Stafford’s stead might assist Darnold land a brand new deal elsewhere in 2023.