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It’s been rumored for some time and everyone has seen the signs so the Carolina Panthers merely made official what seemed obvious Monday when they named Baker Mayfield their starting quarterback.
But … The team is announcing this move for the regular-season opener against the Cleveland Browns Sept. 11 in Charlotte.
“We we started this process we were looking at three things,” coach Matt Rhule told the team’s website. “Number one, mastery of the offense, number two, situational football excellence, and number three, moving the ball and getting guys involved. That’s been our focus all along.
“Baker has made a lot of improvement, a lot of growth in all three areas in a short amount of time.”
Mayfield beat out incumbent starter Sam Darnold for the job. It’s impossible to say at this stage if Mayfield’s status will go week-to-week (unlikely) or he’s the guy for the entire season regardless what happens (also unlikely).
Most likely is Mayfield will get a chance to perform and if he doesn’t after a time, Rhule can reconsider this decision.
Mayfield was traded from the Browns to the Panthers on July 6 — a move necessitated after he fell out of favor with the Browns after last season and that team acquired Deshaun Watson in trade with the Houston Texans.
Interestingly, it will not be a Mayfield vs. Watson matchup for the opener.
Watson will be serving an 11-game suspension from the NFL for violating the league’s Personal Conduct Policy.
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