Could The Panthers Still Draft A QB In The Draft And Move Sam Darnold?

The Sam Darnod era in Carolina may be short-lived.

Reports are the former New York Jets now Carolina Panthers quarterback might not even make it to opening day on the team, much less be the team’s starter come the opener.

Darnold has a fifth-year option upcoming, and the Panthers have to make a tough decision if they should pickup what’s an expensive option ($18.8 million).

The Cats have till May 3rd to make a final decision on the option.

IF the Panthers decline the option, there’s a chance the team might just instead decide to take a QB in the upcoming NFL Draft on Thursday, and then move Darnold to another team.

Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer said Friday that the decision wouldn’t come down until after the draft.

“We have a strong plan in place,” Fitterer said, adding the team will discuss the option post-draft.

If one of the following is sitting out there in the draft – Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, Trey Lance, Mac Jones Carolina might just pull the trigger and draft one of those quarterbacks, then take a chance on seeing if they can recoup what they spent to get Darnold from the Jets.

Written by Matt Loede

Matt has been a part of the Cleveland Sports landscape working in the media since 1994 when he graduated from broadcasting school. His coverage beats include the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Cavaliers. He's written three books, and won the "2020 AP Sports Stringer Lifetime Service Award."


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  1. Reminder: Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen and Lamar Jackson were the 1st round QB’s taken in the 2018 draft. As we look at this group, only 2 of the 5 – Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson – are legit upper tier QB’s who could take a team to the Super Bowl. Yet it was Mayfield, Darnold and Rosen who were deemed by draft experts to have the greatest chance of succes in the NFL. Predicting success at the NFL level is more of a roll of the dice than people want to believe.

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