KEY POINTS

  • The starting quarterback position is temporarily given to Sam Darnold
  • Baker Mayfield or Jimmy Garoppolo pose to be the best option if the Panthers will opt for veteran leadership
  • Darnold needs to prove he is better than the other play-callers on the roster

The Carolina Panthers are banking on a couple of play-callers for the coming season with Sam Darnold being the top choice–at least for now.

No less than Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer mentioned this although this would still depend on his performance as well as other play-callers on the Carolina side.

“Sam is the number one guy right now,” Fitterer said as quoted by Profootball Talk. “He has every opportunity to take it and run with it. We hope he does well. We’ve seen improvement already under [offensive coordinator] Ben McAdoo. He’s working hard, he’s throwing the ball well. He’s just got to take it and run with it. He’s got to own the position."

However, it cannot be discounted that the Panthers may go with another player who os possibly a veteran.

Stability at quarterbacking is important, especially if Carolina intends to want to rack in victories.

“The one thing we’re looking to do is stabilize the position. It’s been up and down, up and down. We’re bringing in Matt Corral. P.J. Walker‘s already here. We’ll see how it goes. He’s in the lead right now, but until someone really owns that position, gives us an opportunity to win, it will always be up for grabs,” the Panthers’ general manager explained.

Darnold has played well for the Panthers since arriving in 2021 from the New York Jets.

However, the 24-year-old play-caller needs to show consistency to ensure that he keeps his hold on the starting quarterback job.

“I thought he played really well even into the Dallas game. He played well in the first half. I think injuries, losing [Christian] McCaffrey did play a factor in it, but really it was the inconsistency of the offensive line. There was too much leakage up there,” Fitterer shared.

There are curious names available in the market, particularly Baker Mayfield and Jimmy Garoppolo.

Any push for either player may depend on how the offseason turns out for the Panthers–particularly for Darnold, Matt Corral and P.J. Walker.

But for now, it appears Darnold needs to push himself and prove he deserves to be the team’s play-caller over Corral and Walker.

Sam Darnold USC
Sam Darnold is expected to be the first pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Pictured: Darnold looks to throw against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the first half of the 82nd Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic between USC and Ohio State at AT&T Stadium on Dec. 29, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. Ron Jenkins/Getty Images
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