Scott Fitterer: Draft won’t impact “strong plan” for Sam Darnold’s fifth-year option

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The Browns exercised their 2022 contract option on quarterback Baker Mayfield on Friday, but it’s unclear if the second quarterback picked in the 2018 draft will have his option picked up.

After the Panthers traded for Sam Darnold this month, there was a report that the team will exercise that option but they’ve made no official announcement. That did not change at a Friday press conference with General Manager Scott Fitterer and head coach Matt Rhule.

Fitterer said that the team would address fifth-year options — wide receiver D.J. Moore also has one — after the draft and before the May 3 deadline. The Panthers haven’t ruled out taking a quarterback in the first round, but Fitterer said that anything that happens in the draft won’t impact their call on Darnold.

“We have a strong plan in place,” Fitterer said.

Darnold would be guaranteed $18.858 million for the 2022 season if the Panthers exercise the option.