The Carolina Panthers were hopeful that they would address their need for a quarterback last offseason when they acquired Sam Darnold from the New York Jets. Unfortunately, that experiment didn’t pan out. Darnold started hot but quickly regressed to the form we saw with Gang Green. Now, rumors are flying that the Panthers could trade for Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.
Again in the market for a quarterback, the Panthers could look to use their first-round pick, No. 6 overall, on a signal-caller. However, if they want to go the route of acquiring a more established option at the position, there are a few veterans that could be available for trade.
One of them is Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns. Mayfield has been replaced as the starting quarterback in Cleveland, as they acquired Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans. Mayfield requested a trade, but to this point, nothing has come to fruition.
Mayfield is one of the few veterans that could be on the move during the 2022 NFL Draft. Could there be a match to be made with the Panthers? Bleacher Report certainly believes so, as Mayfield to Carolina is one of the trade ideas that could shake up this year’s draft.
In their hypothetical trade, the Panthers land Mayfield while sending the 137th pick and a 2023 third-round pick back to the Browns. Carolina’s options when it comes to draft capital this year are limited because they already traded their second and third-round picks to land Darnold and C.J. Henderson. The Panthers also know they aren’t bidding against many teams, so upping their offer beyond that wouldn’t make much sense.
Dipping into future draft capital is always risky, but it would be worthwhile for the Panthers. Matt Rhule is on the hot seat and it would be shocking if he opted to go into what could be a make-or-break season for his coaching livelihood with Darnold or a rookie selected No. 6 overall.
Carolina reportedly has the inside track to acquiring Mayfield, which would be excellent news for the franchise. Mayfield is young enough that he can be their franchise quarterback and it would open things up so they could use the No. 6 pick on a different position of need. The Panthers would also be open to moving down, recouping some of the draft capital that they have traded away.