It has been a while since the quarterback position has been a strength for the Carolina Panthers.
After years of watching guys like Kyle Allen, Will Grier, Sam Darnold, and PJ Walker starting for their team, Panthers fans headed into this offseason hoping they might see some improvement.
Instead, it looks like the Panthers may run it back for another season with one of the guys who has recently started for them.
According to Carolina Panthers reporter David Newton, the Panthers have already had preliminary discussions with Sam Arnold’s representatives about a return.
While the Panthers are meeting with Derek Carr in Indianapolis, their focus is more on mid-level (salary-wise) veteran quarterbacks. They already have had preliminary discussions with representatives of Sam Darnold, per sources. Darnold makes sense if they plan to draft a QB.
— David Newton (@DNewtonespn) March 1, 2023
Sam Darnold’s NFL career hasn’t exactly lived up to expectations. After 3 losing season with the Jets, he was replaced by an even worse quarterback and traded to the Carolina Panthers.
Things weren’t much better for him in Carolina in his first year with the Panthers. As the team’s starting quarterback, he led another losing season while posting a disappointing stat line of 2527 yards, 9 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions over 12 appearances.
He was even replaced during the season by Cam Newton and former XFL quarterback PJ Walker.
Things got better in his 2nd year in Carolina. The year started out with the team bringing in Baker Mayfield to replace him, but they ended up cutting Baker mid-season. Darnold was injured at the time, but would eventually become the starter again.
Back under center, Darnold posted a 4-2 record as the team’s starter in 2022 and was able to limit his turnovers, throwing just 3 interceptions in 6 starts.
Darnold isn’t exactly going to make the Panthers a Super Bowl contender, but he may be good enough for them to at least compete while they continue their search for a franchise QB.
The NFC South is going to be pretty bad next year and Darnold was actually able to pick up a couple of strong wins with a road W against the Seahawks and a home win over the Lions.
Panthers fans are certainly hoping to see their team actually improve at the position this offseason after some rough years, but Darnold might not be the worst option if they can’t find a better option at a reasonable price and plan to trade up in the draft to find their franchise QB.