Will Sam Darnold Revive His Career With the Carolina Panthers?

Published 04/06/2021, 9:12 AM EDT
Dec 20, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) looks to pass against the Los Angeles Rams during the first half at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


One of the longest 2021 NFL trade sagas finally came to a conclusion this week. The New York Jets agreed to trade starting quarterback Sam Darnold to NFC South franchise, Carolina Panthers on Monday.

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The Charlotte-based franchise will give up one 2nd and 4th rounder in 2022 in addition to a 6th rounder in exchange for Darnold.

Jan 3, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) looks to pass under pressure from New England Patriots defensive end Chase Winovich (50) during the second quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The former 3rd overall pick has endured a tough start to his NFL career. In 38 starts for the Jets, Darnold has a 13-25-0 record playing under former Head Coach Adam Gase.

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He has thrown for 8,097 yards with 45 passing TDs against 39 interceptions since making his debut in 2018.

With Darnold as their starter, the New York-based franchise finished at the bottom of the AFC East behind Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots. So what does the future hold for the former 1st rounder in the NFL?

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Sam Darnold signs for Matt Rhule’s Carolina Panthers ahead of 2021 NFL season

Try saying "SAM DARNOLD TO DAN ARNOLD" five times fast 😂 https://t.co/Xogiv3FwnH

— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) April 5, 2021

Sam Darnold will arrive in Charlotte in the build-up to the 2021 NFL preseason. He is expected to compete with experienced NFL shot-caller, Teddy Bridgewater.

The former Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints man signed a $63 million contract with the Panthers before the start of the 2020 NFL season.

However, he is not really a guaranteed starter. Darnold has a shot at impressing coach Matt Rhule and climbing up the depth chart before the season kicks off in September. Here’s a short recap of his college career while playing for the University of Southern Columbia.

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The return of star-running back Christian McCaffrey will definitely serve as a boost for the Panthers. But they need some added firepower in their wide receiver department. Robby Anderson, DJ Moore, and David Moore are currently the 1st-choice starters in the Carolina offense.

Despite a poor stat card, Sam Darnold showed glimpses of brilliance during his 3-year stay at the Big Apple. It will be interesting to see if he can displace Bridgewater and get his NFL career back on track in the coming years.

There is hope at the end of the tunnel for Sam but only if he makes it to the end.

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Daniel Arambur

1489 articles

Daniel Arambur is an NFL writer and content strategist for EssentiallySports.With more than 1,000 articles, he is one of the senior writers in the NFL cohort at ES. A mass media graduate from the University of Mumbai, Daniel has found the perfect blend of vocation and passion in the sports content niche.

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