One of the many unexpected highlights of the 2022 season for the Carolina Panthers has been the transformation of Sam Darnold, both in terms of his physical appearance and his on-field performance. Not only has he embraced the rugged, masculine look of a beard, but he has also consistently demonstrated his skill and talent as a quarterback. All in all, it has been a pleasure to watch Darnold’s development and success this season.
As the fifth-year quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, Sam Darnold has greatly improved his performance and helped lead the team to the brink of winning the NFC South title. With just two more wins, the Panthers could secure their division crown. Given Darnold’s instrumental role in the team’s success this season, it is fair to ask if he can continue to be the team’s starting quarterback in the 2023 season.
The answer to this question may depend on how Darnold finishes the remainder of the current season. If he performs well and helps guide the Panthers into the playoffs, it is possible that the organization may consider offering him a new contract. On the other hand, if the Panthers fail to make the playoffs despite Darnold’s strong play, it could be more challenging to determine his future with the team. Even if he performs well in the final two games but the Panthers do not make the playoffs, it is difficult to predict what the organization’s next move might be.
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Ultimately, the decision on whether or not Darnold will be the Panthers’ starting quarterback in the 2023 season will depend on a variety of factors. These may include his performance during the remainder of the current season, the team’s overall success, and the organization’s plans for the future. It is possible that Darnold’s strong play and leadership may be enough to earn him a new contract and a continued role as the team’s starting quarterback. However, it is also possible that the Panthers may opt to go in a different direction, depending on their evaluation of the team’s needs and potential options. Without more information, it is difficult to say for certain what the future holds for Darnold and the Panthers.
Since becoming the starting quarterback in Week 12, Sam Darnold has excelled with a 104.3 passer rating, ranking fifth among all starters during that time. He has also been careful with the ball, not committing a single turnover. In addition to his passing skills, Darnold’s athleticism has contributed to the transformation of the Panthers’ offense into a formidable and potentially intimidating unit.
As Darnold has gained more experience as the Panthers’ starting quarterback, offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo has become increasingly confident in his abilities. Darnold’s strong arm, mobility, and overall improvement have allowed McAdoo to expand the team’s playbook. This puts the Panthers in a challenging position as they consider their options for the future.
If they are unable to acquire a franchise quarterback through free agency, the draft, or a trade, they may have to decide whether to give Darnold a short-term, “prove-it” contract or let him go. Ultimately, the team’s decision will depend on Darnold’s performance during the remainder of the season and their evaluation of his potential as a long-term solution at the quarterback position.