If you do not have a quarterback that can produce in the NFL it will be very hard to win games. The Carolina Panthers have found that out the hard way as they have struggled to find someone to fill the void since Cam Newton’s injuries derailed his career.
The inability to find a quarterback is ultimately what led to the dismissal of head coach Matt Rhule. He was fired after Week 5 despite only being in the third year of a seven-year contract that he signed.
It hasn’t been for a lack of trying as the Panthers have signed or traded for a quarterback in three straight offseasons. In 2020 it was Teddy Bridgewater who was signed as a free agent, but he lasted only one season as the starter. The same could be said for Sam Darnold, who the Panthers acquired from the New York Jets in 2021.
It looks as if the same outcome will be awaiting Baker Mayfield, who the team landed in a trade from the Cleveland Browns earlier this year. Mayfield, just like the previous two quarterbacks, looks like he will be one-and-done in Carolina.
Mayfield’s performance has drawn the ire of many people, including former Panthers players. One player who had some strong words for the former No. 1 overall pick was Steve Smith Sr. Arguably the best Panther of all-time along with Newton, Smith had some harsh words for Mayfield after the team’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 11.
Smith has never been one to mince his words as he will let you know exactly how he feels at all times. This is no different, as his unfiltered take on Mayfield is likely what many other people feel about him as well.
On the season, Mayfield has completed only 57.8 percent of his passes for 1,313 yards with six touchdowns and six interceptions. He was unable to build much of a rapport with the team’s No. 1 wide receiver, D.J. Moore, and struggled to get the offense on track despite also having all-world running back Christian McCaffrey leading the ground game.
The success that Mayfield had in 2020, leading the Browns into the postseason, is something that another franchise may try and coax out of him, as he could have a decent market this offseason. But, with every passing season, that performance looks more and more like a fluke, not something he is capable of consistently doing on a weekly basis.