Report: Baker Mayfield will start for the Panthers for Week 1
The Panthers acquired Mayfield in a trade with the Browns, and after six weeks in Carolina he has won the battle for the starting job.
Baker Mayfield left the Cleveland Browns due to the multiple questions raised during the 2021 campaign regarding his performance. With only a month and a half in Carolina, the Oklahoma graduate already looks like the best QB of the Panthers.
According to Jeff Howe of The Athletic, the Panthers are expected to name Mayfield as their starting quarterback for Week 1. In the middle of training camp head coach Matt Rhule had reported that he was not yet ready to decide between Mayfield and Sam Darnold.
Mayfield to face his former team
The first game of the season for the Panthers will be against the Browns, Mayfield’s former team. In this regard, the 27-year-old acknowledged that he is motivated by the possibility of defeating the AFC North club.
“I’m not going to be a robot and say I haven’t marked it on my calendar. I’m not like that, for me it’s about winning games”, he said. “Obviously this one has a bit more history and personal meaning, but for me it’s about winning and setting the tone for the rest of the year.
For the Browns, Mayfield’s absence will be felt considerably since Deshaun Watson, their new starting QB, will not see activity during the first 12 weeks due to a suspension as a result of the 25 lawsuits of sexual assault that he faced.
Paths that meet
Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield's race started on the same day. While the former Sooner was selected with the first overall pick of the 2018 Draft, the USC graduate came to the NFL with the third selection of the same draft.
While Darnold is 17-32 with the Jets and Panthers, Mayfield boasts a 29-30 record and a playoff appearance.