The Panthers brought in the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft on Wednesday, acquiring quarterback Baker Mayfield from the Browns.
They already had the No. 3 overall pick from the same draft in Sam Darnold. It doesn’t look like they’re going to give him up anytime soon.
According to multiple reporters on the Panthers beat, Carolina has no intention of trading Darnold after adding Mayfield.
That sets up a potential competition between Mayfield and Darnold to be the Panthers’ QB1 to open the season. But with Mayfield coming in on July 6, Darnold clearly isn’t seen as a long-term solution.
Darnold got off to a hot start with the Panthers in 2021 but cooled off quickly before missing time due to injury. He ended the season 4-7 as a starter, having completed 59.9 percent of his passes for 2,527 yards with nine touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Darnold also rushed for 222 yards and five touchdowns but had nine fumbles.
With the word getting put out by the Panthers that they have “no intention” to trade Darnold, a team could potentially swoop in and present an offer Carolina can’t refuse. But there hasn’t been any chatter about a team being interested in Darnold to this point. Given his performance over his first four seasons, it’s understandable that he would not have much of a market.
Darnold is slated to make $18.86 million in 2022 — the same as Mayfield before the Panthers’ newest QB agreed to a pay cut to facilitate the trade.