What’s next for Sam Darnold?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Carolina Panthers
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Now that the Panthers have provided the ultimate no-confidence vote to the potential franchise quarterback for whom they traded a year ago, what’s next for Sam Darnold?

The good news for Darnold is that he’ll make $18.8 million this year, unless of course he agrees to cut his pay (like Mayfield did) to facilitate a trade. But who at this point would trade for him?

There’s been no real chatter about teams that would swoop in for Darnold if/when Baker Mayfield becomes a Panther. Who would want Darnold now? Seattle? Houston? San Francisco as the non-Garoppolo placeholder until Trey Lance is ready? New Orleans? The Giants?

The Panthers surely would have to pay a large chunk of Darnold’s salary to make a deal happen now. Their best play could be to keep Darnold and wait for a potential injury, as the Browns potentially would have done — if Mayfield would have gone along with it.

That’s the big difference. While the bridge between the Panthers and Darnold may be currently shaky, it hasn’t been blown to smithereens. They can work together, with Darnold as the No. 2 to Mayfield. The Panthers can wait for a chance to trade Darnold, due to injury or ineffectiveness or whatever other factor could prompt a team to cut the cord on their current quarterback.

However it plays out, Darnold becomes the latest failed effort by owner David Tepper to finagle a franchise quarterback. It didn’t work with Teddy Bridgewater. It didn’t work with Darnold. If it doesn’t work with Mayfield, the Panthers and Tepper will keep on kissing frogs in the hopes that one of them will become the prince who will make the Panthers into a perennial contender.

9 responses to “What’s next for Sam Darnold?

  1. You keep listing the Giants. Take a look at their salary cap space. Even if he’s an upgrade which is debatable, he’s on an expiring contract at a higher cap # than Jones. It makes sense for the Giants to be on your list for next year’s draft list of QB needy teams not for high price rejects.

  2. When the Jets traded for Tim Tebow, they kept Mark Sanchez the starter. The Jets also paid more for Tebow’s (4th and a 6th) services then the Panthers have for Mayfield (a 5th). So I don’t see Darnold losing his starting spot. I see Mayfield coming in on 4th and shorts and goal line plays like Taysom Hill or Tebow did with the Jets.

  3. Darnold if I were you I’d just hold the clip board for the 18 million owed 😀 , might be the best thing for him is to sit a year and gather himself

  4. Sam Darnold must be crying in that pile of 18M he is making. He will be making more than Baker to carry the clipboard

  5. Mayfield is a legit top 15 starter in the NFL. Darnold is not.

  6. What about a three team trade to san Francisco which sends darnold to San Francisco and garapolo to Cleveland.

  7. Can we please stop marking every “available” QB as a potential acquisition target for Seattle? It’s lazy analysis and unfair to Drew Lock… give the kid a chance for crying out loud

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