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#pounditThursday, October 6, 2022

Report reveals early leader in Panthers’ QB competition

Matt Rhule during a game

Aug 27, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule before the game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers are holding an open competition for their starting quarterback job between Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield. However, there is some reason to believe one of the two players has a leg up in the competition.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo said Monday that the starting job is clearly Mayfield’s to lose. According to Garafolo, Mayfield has been making more big plays even as he is still getting familiar with the offense, and appears to have a higher ceiling than what Darnold has offered.

If the Panthers were comfortable with Darnold, they never would have traded for Mayfield in the first place. That alone suggests Mayfield has a good shot at winning the job. It helps that the former Cleveland Browns quarterback has some extra incentive to win the starting job for Week 1.

The Panthers still appear poised to keep Darnold around as insurance. That, however, is likely driven by the difficulty of finding a trade partner more than anything else.


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