- The Carolina Panthers have four quarterbacks on their roster.
- Two of them are former top-three NFL Draft picks in the same year.
- The team has spent a lot of draft capital to assemble its quarterback room and still don’t have an answer.
Barring unforeseen circumstances, Baker Mayfield is the newest member of the Panthers. There is a crazy scenario in which the trade could be nullified, but it is extremely unlikely.
As a result, Carolina has one of the most notable quarterback rooms in the NFL. Entering training camp, the team will have four quarterbacks on the roster:
- XFL legend P.J. Walker, who made two starts in the last two years.
- Baker Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
- Sam Darnold, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
- Matt Corral, a 3rd round rookie out of Ole Miss with significant upside.
By trading for Mayfield, the assumption amongst many was that he would be handed the starting job. Why else would the team trade for him, right?
According to NFL insider Mike Garafolo, training camp will decide who gets to start in Week 1. It will be an open competition between Darnold and Mayfield.
Sam Darnold had a good spring for the #Panthers and they're by no means handing the job to Baker Mayfield. There will be a training camp competition between the 2018 Nos. 1 and 3 overall picks.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) July 6, 2022
This, of course, sets up to be one of the most intriguing storylines of the summer. Who will start in Carolina?
And the craziest part of this whole thing is how much the Panthers traded away to get here.
In April of 2021, the organization sent a 2021 sixth-round pick, a 2022 second-round pick and a 2022 fourth-round pick to the Jets in exchange for Darnold.
In April of 2022, the organization sent a 2022 fourth-round pick and a 2023 third-round pick to the Patriots in exchange for a third round pick. With the third round pick from New England, Carolina drafted Corral.
In July of 2022, on Wednesday, the organization agreed to send a 2024 conditional fifth-round pick to the Jets in exchange for Mayfield.
the Panthers really traded away…
all to assemble a QB room of:
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) July 6, 2022
After all of the trading and all of the draft capital dump and all of the movement and confusion within the organization, the Panthers still do not have a clear starting quarterback for the fall. It’s easy to assume that it will be Mayfield starting come Week 1, but Darnold is still in the mix and Corral may end up being the best of them all.
What a wild two years at quarterback in Charlotte! And to make things even funnier, with the No. 24 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers selected D.J. Moore— a wide receiver who will be catching passes from one of the two quarterbacks picked in the top three of his draft class.