The Carolina Panthers released their first depth chart of the preseason, and Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold are listed as the starting quarterback. The team's official Twitter account tweeted the depth chart for their first preseason game on Saturday, August 13 against the Washington Commanders.
Head coach Matt Rhule pulled a throwback out of his days coaching in the Big 12 and went with the “OR” technique when not wanting to reveal a starter. Mayfield and Darnold are listed together in the starting spot, with PJ Walker as the backup and rookie Matt Corral holding down the third string.
Carolina has one of the more interesting quarterback position battles in the league. The team acquired Darnold from the New York Jets for draft capital ahead of the 2021 season, and that experiment did not go well. If the quarterback didn’t have an $18 million cap hit, he likely wouldn’t even be in contention for the job. Mayfield was acquired from the Cleveland Browns and has the chance to spark some much-needed life into this offense.
While neither player had the success that was expected of them in their first stop in the NFL, they are looking for another chance with the Panthers. Darnold already had his, and while Rhule may not want to make the announcement yet, Mayfield should get the first shot as his second chance as the starting quarterback when the season opens. In a storyline you couldn’t makeup, Carolina opens the regular season against the Browns on Sunday, September 11 for Mayfield’s revenge game.