Baker Mayfield, as expected, is expected to be named the Week One starter in Carolina

Carolina Panthers v Washington Commanders
Getty Images

The quarterback competition that never really felt like a competition won’t be a competition for much longer.

As expected, Baker Mayfield is expected to be named the starter in Carolina. reports that it’s inevitable. However, no timeline has been applied to the making of the announcement.

The Panthers traded for Mayfield after the conclusion of the offseason program. The mere fact that the deal was made created the impression that the Panthers wanted Mayfield to play over Sam Darnold. But when former Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme, who currently works for the team as a broadcaster, declared that Darnold has the upper hand in the competition, some started to wonder whether the Panthers simply added Mayfield as a buy-low proposition, getting him for a fifth-round pick and paying only $5 million of his salary. (The Browns are paying $10.5 million.)

Then, once camp opened, the coaching staff divided first-team reps, giving Darnold a seemingly fair shot to win the job while also giving Mayfield fewer chances to get comfortable in a new team with a new offense. Despite not getting the full bulk of the reps, Mayfield has persuaded the coaching staff — and, presumably, the locker room — that he’s the better option, at least when the Browns come to town for Week One.

Even if Mayfield starts every game, Darnold actually will make more money this year. He has a fifth-year option salary of $18.8 million, along with the 17th-game sweetener of $1.1 million. Mayfield, who originally had the same fifth-year salary, agreed to take a pay cut in excess of $3 million. While he can earn it back through incentives, he needs to have a very special year (more than $1 million is tied to getting to the Super Bowl and winning it), the 17th game check is gone for good.

Of course, Mayfield isn’t thinking about about not making nearly $20 million in 2022. He’s thinking about making a lot more in 2023 and beyond. To get there, he needs to play. And he apparently will, at least when the season begins.

After that, it’s up to him. He’ll need to be effective. He’ll also need to stay healthy. His this-is-my-job attitude in Cleveland allowed him to play with a bad non-throwing shoulder when he clearly shouldn’t have been on the field. In Carolina, he’ll likely receive no such deference, especially with the coaching staff thinking a lot more about 2023 and beyond, too.

21 responses to “Baker Mayfield, as expected, is expected to be named the Week One starter in Carolina

  1. My question is if he does a decent job and get’s the Panthers into the play off will we extend his contract? With Matt the qb of the future this would give him time to adjust to the speed of the game in the NFL. This years draft class is so much better than last years class.

  2. Good luck Baker! Wish he was still in C-town instead of the sh*t show we have going on here.

  3. Against the Browns all Mayfield needs is the opportunity for a game winning drive.That is,all the Browns need to assure victory.

  4. The Pats D has demolished Mayfield (and Darnold) in 2 joint practices, so I don’t expect Mayfield to do very well after just arriving.

    Apparently, he was throwing to the wrong side of the receiver on many of the plays and he was picked ofa slew of times each day.


  5. He’s a winner, and he’s matured tremendously since his first time stepping on the field. When you ask anyone who’s been his teammate you always hear the same things- He’s driven and wants to win. Here’s hoping he plays at an MVP level, and reminds Cleveland fans of just how dysfunctional their organization really is

  6. Not a Baker fan but rooting for him to make Cleveland miserable when he outplays Watson.

  7. Monday, they will likely make an announcement on Monday. The Panthers have been saying all summer they would make a QB decision after the 2nd preseason game. That’s the time table they set, I’m not sure why that’s a question. Baker is a clearly better QB, every major statistical category says the same. I think the only hesitations for the Panthers have been; can he learn the playbook in time and will the locker room accept him over Darnold? Otherwise this was a no brainer that it was Baker’s job to lose. Darnold under performed compared to Bridgewater with the same quality of O-line and more games with McCaffrey. I don’t know that the Panthers will have even a winning season with Baker under center, but hopefully they will be watchable this year, last year was just miserably sad. I may be asking for too much though, Rhule wants a team that doesn’t reach out over the goal line and he’s sure gotten that the last two years.

  8. Mayfield couldn’t get us in the endzone when it counted. For all the times he was in the 2 minute drill to win the game we always ended up on the short end.

  9. jwcarlson says:
    August 18, 2022 at 7:50 am
    Who throws more TDs this season? Baker or Watson?
    Um, since Watson will be suspended for a significant part of the year I’ll say Baker. Was that a trick question (lol)

  10. It’s going to happen…Rhule is going to keep PJ…the Kittens worst case, will have 4 qbs on the roster, best case 3 and PJ goes to the practice squad.

  11. Just recall that Mayfield was seriously injured last year. He should not have been playing. Yes, he’s tough, but tough and one-armed does not cut it.
    NFL fans will see if the 2018 and 2020 Mayfield is the real Mayfield, or id the 2019 Kitchens-fiasco and 2021 injury-riddled Mayfield is the real one.
    This is his 5th HC and OC in 5 years, also.

    Good luck Mayfield, except in week 1

  12. Can’t get more chip on the shoulder for Baker. As a Browns fan, wish him well and won’t be surprised if he makes some noise this year.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.