There was a lot of mixed reaction when the Panthers traded for Sam Darnold back during the 2021 off-season, to be the starting QB for the Panthers. While in New York, Darnold was maligned by poor coaching, little supporting talent, which led to him being one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL. Still, Matt Rhule saw something in Darnold, to make a move for him. After a 3-0 start, Rhule was looking like he made the right decision, but an avalanche of mistakes in the second against the Dallas Cowboys, brought back the Darnold everyone saw in New York, and it hasn’t been the same since. This season, Carolina is 4-6 in games started by Darnold, as he has thrown for just 7 touchdowns, against 12 interceptions, as he has struggled to protect the football, even going back to his college days at USC. NFL writer for MMQB Conor Orr, joined Wilson & Norfleet earlier this afternoon, and had this to say about Darnold’s play:
“I was pretty amazed at what Joe Brady was able to do over the first few weeks of the season, getting him on the move where he was least somewhat comfortable. And then once you yanked the plug on that, there’s really no surprises you’re kinda left with more questions than answers”
One thing is for certain no matter what as the 2021 season comes to a close, Darnold is owed $18.8 million dollars next season, which is the Panthers are trying to salvage everything they can out of him since they have already committed the money to him.