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#pounditSaturday, January 28, 2023

Panthers make big decision on Baker Mayfield’s future

Baker Mayfield warming up

Aug 26, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) throws before the game against the Buffalo Bills at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Baker Mayfield clearly has no long-term future with the Carolina Panthers, but the quarterback could get a fresh start elsewhere sooner than expected.

The Panthers will waive Mayfield on Monday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports. Teams will then have an opportunity to claim the former first overall pick before he becomes a free agent.

Rapoport noted that the San Francisco 49ers, who lost Jimmy Garoppolo to a season-ending ankle injury on Sunday, are suddenly in the market for a quarterback.

Rookie Brock Purdy was impressive against the Miami Dolphins after Garoppolo got hurt. The Niners also moved quickly to sign a veteran QB from another team’s practice squad, so it seems unlikely that they will have interest in Mayfield.

The Panthers were the only team willing to give Mayfield a chance to be a starter this season. He went down with an ankle injury in Week 5 and did not get his starting job back upon being cleared. Mayfield briefly got his job back after PJ Walker suffered an injury, but he has since been benched again in favor of Sam Darnold.

Mayfield has 1,313 passing yards, 6 touchdowns and 6 interceptions in 7 games this season. He was determined to prove he is capable of winning games after the Cleveland Browns gave up on him, but he has yet to do that.

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