Carolina Panthers QB Makes Confident Statement As Starting Place Begins to Slip Away

Published 05/26/2022, 10:00 AM EDT

USA Today via Reuters

This season will be a make-or-break year for Sam Darnold of the Carolina Panthers. The 24-year-old quarterback is at a point where his abilities are being seriously tested because of his downgrading performance in the past years. As the Panthers’ off-season training sessions have begun, Darnold came forward to express his views in front of the reporters. The former Rose Bowl champion vowed to present himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the upcoming season.

“As long as I know what we’re doing, what the defense is doing, I’m confident I can be one of the best quarterbacks in the league,” Darnold told the reporters. He is entering the fifth and the final year of his rookie deal.


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The New York Jets drafted Darnold in the first round as the third overall pick from the 2018 draft class. After playing for three seasons in the AFC East, the Jets traded him to the Panthers in 2021 for three draft picks.

However, the USC alumnus disappointed the fans in the past four seasons. A 17-32 record as a starter is something that can’t be ignored. He was under the radar as trade bait in exchange for the team’s pursuit of acquiring veteran star Deshaun Watson. However, all the plans were foiled after the Houston Texans acquired Watson in a blockbuster deal.

Even though the Panthers’ head coach Matt Rhule hasn’t called out an option to look for veterans at free agency, he still hopes that Darnold will shine in the upcoming season.


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“What Sam has been through this offseason has been very hard,” Rhule said. “Your back’s against the wall. Everyone’s kind of questioning whether you can do this or not. We’ve seen a guy who has shown up who has a little more edge to him. He’s very, very focused.” Rhule extended his support for Darnold.

If not Sam Darnold, Carolina Panthers might go after Cleveland Browns’ Baker Mayfield


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The disgruntled quarterback Baker Mayfield is already looking for a new home in the wake of Watson’s trade, and the Panthers might be a suitable spot for him. According to ESPN, the Panthers are keeping an eye on him. But the move could only happen if the Browns pay him the remaining $18.8million per his contract or release him.

Not just Mayfield, but even the new draftee Matt Caroll from the 2022 NFL draft class proves to be a threat to Darnold. When a similar question was raised at the press meet, Darnold had an optimistic reply. “Everyone, including myself, knows the situation,” Darnold said. “But with that being said, it doesn’t change my mindset. I have a great attitude about myself going into every day,” he added.


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In the past four seasons, Darnold registered 52 interceptions and threw for 54 touchdowns. He was ranked 29th compared to other starters in the league. With his recent comments, it seems the quarterback is planning to re-establish himself in the pro football league.

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Deepesh Nair

1099 articles

Deepesh Nair is an NFL author at EssentiallySports. Having started his career in journalism as a trending news writer, he has published around 500 articles for various media portals. Although Deepesh comes from a Computer Science background, his fondness for writing has persuaded him to create his career in it.

Edited By: Gurjyot Singh Dadial