Sam Darnold: Competition was fair, it didn’t go my way

Carolina Panthers v New England Patriots
Getty Images

Sam Darnold was the No. 2 quarterback taken in the 2018 draft behind Baker Mayfield and he finds himself behind Mayfield again this year.

The Panthers officially named Mayfield their starting quarterback for the season opener against the Browns on Monday. The Panthers traded for Mayfield ahead of training camp, which many took as a strong sign that he would wind up with the job since the Panthers already knew what they had in Darnold.

At a Monday press conference, Darnold said he didn’t think the competition was slanted in Mayfield’s favor. He added that the outcome “sucks” for him, but that he’s committed to doing anything he can to help Mayfield succeed.

“We were fighting for the starting job. Every day was our game day out there during camp, especially as we got into these last couple weeks. . . . Obviously it didn’t go my way. Coach named Baker the starter. My mindset is it is what it is. For me, right now, I’m gonna do everything I can to support Baker and get him ready to play a game.”

Darnold is guaranteed over $18 million in salary this year as a result of the Panthers exercising his fifth-year option, but he’ll be cashing those checks from the bench as long as Mayfield is healthy and playing well.

26 responses to “Sam Darnold: Competition was fair, it didn’t go my way

  1. $18 million is a lot to get paid to sit on the bench. I hope that Darnold is better at managing money than he is as an NFL QB because his future checks are likely to be much lower starting next year. I hope he finds a way to improve. He appears to be a great guy and I would like to see him succeed in the NFL.

  2. Baker Mayfield was a walk-on….he’s been here before. Heart of a Lion. I’m rooting for him.

  3. Darnold just proved he’s a a high priced back up. It’s quite possible the Panthers trade him for a 6th or 7th rounder or just cut him outright.

  4. Could be worse. Josh Rosen isn’t even winning the competition for 3rd string in Cleveland.

  5. A reminder these guys don’t choose where they were drafted those are GM decisions. Not his fault they over estimated his talent. All he can do is his best which he has.

  6. Sam seems like a pretty good guy and a good teammate. Don’t know what he’s missing, at times he looked outstanding but other times not so much.
    I’d like to see him catch on somewhere and at least have a solid back-up career. That’s a great gig if you can get it!

  7. When you watch Sam Darnold, you can’t help but notice he is a really talented player. He will probably benefit from having the pressure off. He was always out front with the Jets and then the stress last year with Carolina. This might be good for his career in the long run.

  8. jonathankrobinson424 says:
    August 22, 2022 at 7:52 pm
    Darnold just proved he’s a a high priced back up. It’s quite possible the Panthers trade him for a 6th or 7th rounder or just cut him outright.

    you understand his salary is guaranteed, right?

  9. Dont worry Sam, they selected Baker to get back at Cleveland, you could start the second week since the competition is still ongoing and you have to prove you still want the job.

  10. For people digging on Darnold, you might want to remember that before he even starts his 5th NFL season, he has been dragged around by 3 different head coaches, 5 offensive coordinators, and 3 quarterback coaches. One of those head coaches was Adam Gase, the butt of nearly every NFL coaching joke for two seasons before he was canned for laughable incompetence. And his current HC is on the clock.

    Darnold started with a franchise kickstarting a complete rebuild project, with a horrible o-line and zero deep threat receivers and zero actual playmakers.

    He was never gonna be an Aaron Rodgers, but let’s not pretend that the Jets and Panthers haven’t done a bang up job of making a giant mess out of his development.

  11. It doesn’t seem like he possess that killer instinct. He’s a nice guy. Had a productive college career and turned that into a nice payday and high draft pick status. The bad part? He’s got a set of loose handles when it comes to taking care of the ball. Why is it that Darnold still seems to get the benefit of the doubt on here when Tua gets trashed?

  12. Sam Darnold has been stuck in two bad franchises, at least he’s getting paid for it.

  13. It sucks that its never worked out for Sam. Seems like a good person who is very coachable and works hard. He has clear physical skills but never has quite figured out how to read defenses and understand different coverage schemes which is critical at the NFL level.

    Good news for Sam is teams are always looking for backups and he can hang around in this league as a well-paid backup who maybe gets an occasional opportunity to start for a long time.

  14. I think Seattle would be insane to not make a move for this kid. No, he’s not going to be the guy to bring that franchise back to competing for titles but he’s head & shoulders above what they have now and with the receivers they have, why not give the roster a shot to compete?

  15. Any other outcome to this training camp battle would have been a surprise for several reasons. Tough break for Darnold whose career continues to flounder. His career prospects as a full-time starter become very murky and unpredictable at this point.

  16. First round draft bust but I do wish him well but he needs to find another team. I believe it will happen before the trade deadline.

  17. Class act. I’m happy happier with him as the backup, but class act nonetheless.

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.