Baker Mayfield Officially Announced as Panthers’ Starter

Baker Mayfield Officially Announced as Panthers’ Starter

by August 22, 2022 0 comments

The Carolina Panthers have officially announced quarterback Baker Mayfield as their Week 1 starter.

To a lot of people, this might not seem like breaking news. However, it bears mentioning since head coach Matt Rhule entertained the competition between Mayfield and incumbent starter Sam Darnold.

What does this mean for the Panthers? What happens to Sam Darnold? Why is Week 1 so important for Mayfield and the Panthers? Let’s answer these new questions following today’s development out of Charlotte, N.C.

What does this mean for the Panthers?

For the Panthers, the backup will likely be Sam Darnold. With Matt Corral getting injured, P.J. Walker will rank third on the depth chart, assuming the team chooses to roster three signal-callers.

In Week 1, the Panthers play Mayfield’s former team, the Cleveland Browns. This will be the first regular-season game for which he has been fully healthy since last season. From there, if Mayfield plays well enough, Carolina can decide if they want to extend him next offseason. So far in training camp, Mayfield has shown that he is worthy of the starting job. 

For Darnold, his demotion to the backup role has left people wondering why Sam Darnold didn’t see any reps versus the New England Patriots. Presumably, Darnold remained on the bench since the Panthers played practically no starters on the offensive line. 

Why is Week 1 important for Baker and the Panthers?

There’s no denying that Mayfield has some newfound motivation after the developments of the offseason. The Browns famously acquired Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans and paid him $230 million. Then, the Browns traded away Mayfield to Carolina for a conditional 2024 draft pick, with the Browns paying most of his salary. 

Upon Mayfield being officially announced as the starter, the Panthers can expect an upgrade in quarterback play that they didn’t have with Darnold last season. If he looks good for the Panthers, they have a starting-caliber quarterback at an inexpensive cost. If it doesn’t work out, the Panthers coughed up virtually nothing to acquire him.

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