It was less than four years ago when Sam Darnold was the third overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. After three seasons largely unsuccessful with “Gang Green” and needed a fresh start, Darnold was transferred Carolina Panthers in April 2021.
However, the 24-year-old struggled with on-field production and injuries last year, and his role in the team could be questioned. Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer addressed the team’s quarterback situation on Friday.
Fitterer added that if Newton goes back and plays with Carolina, he’s going to have to want to come back and understand his role well. ESPN’s David Newton quotes the GM saying that “the best player will play” under the center.
Darnold opened the 2021 campaign as a Panthers starter and threw more than 300 yards in three consecutive competitions from Weeks 2 to 4. However, after a 3-0 win early in the year, Carolina lost four in a row. and five of the next six with Darnold as charge, and he threw 10 interceptions between Weeks 4 and 9.
The USC product suffered a shoulder injury during the team’s Week 9 loss to the New England Patriots. He was placed on the bench injured and missed the next five competitions. During Darnold’s injury absence, the Panthers brought in their former MVP in Newton, but he struggled very strongly and eventually saw work begin again with Darnold for Weeks 15-16. and 17.