Update (10:56 a.m. ET):
Well, the Carolina Panthers may already have themselves a winner in the Great Quarterback Competition of 2022.
According to Benjamin Allbright of KOA Colorado, the Panthers are attempting to shop Sam Darnold. Allbright also notes, however, that the team “can’t get takers” on a potential deal due to Darnold’s fifth-year option.
The 2018 third overall pick is set to earn $18.8 million for the upcoming campaign—all of which, of course, is guaranteed. So trying to find a buyer on that—specifically when most, if not all, teams have settled on their answers under center—will be extremely difficult without any pot sweetening from the Panthers.
Oh, and the track record of Darnold’s four-year career—let alone his underwhelming 2021 season—won’t help either. After a solid three-game start to his Carolina tenure, the former New York Jet bottomed out—tossing just six touchdowns to 12 interceptions, while passing over the 220-yard mark just once, in his final nine games.
If this is indeed the case, it seems as though Baker Mayfield—the favorite to win the starting job from the start—is the choice for head coach Matt Rhule moving into 2022.