Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule is definitely on the hot seat.
Another disappointing season and he might lose his job.
His chances of retaining his job are getting slimmer by the day, especially after his 10-23 record over his first two seasons.
Therefore, the Baker Mayfield trade could be more about preserving the jobs of Rhule and general manager Scott Fitterer.
NBC Sports’ Warren Sharp detailed why the trade benefits those front office personnel more than the team’s prospects.
how Matt Rhule built a QB room
– signs Teddy Bridgewater
– trades for Sam Darnold
– trades away Teddy
– exercises Darnold's 5th yr option
– signs Matt Barkley
– signs Cam Newton
– benches Newton
– cuts Barkley
– re-signs PJ Walker
– drafts Matt Corral
– trades for Baker Mayfield
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) July 6, 2022
Sharp tweeted, “this deal is 100% about Matt Rhule trying to save Matt Rhule’s job. yes Baker is a cheap add & is > Darnold. but he isn’t a long-term answer for any team & will win just enough to keep you from drafting a top QB. Rhule doesn’t care about that, he’s trying not to get fired this yr.”
Over his first four seasons, Mayfield has proven that he is more of a bridge quarterback who can prepare the way for the player who will take over his role.
Therefore, it still isn’t certain if he will stay with the Panthers beyond 2022.
However, Rhule is banking on the reality that Mayfield has played better than Sam Darnold and can lead Carolina to a more respectable record.
After 2022, What’s Next?
Granted that Rhule will get a contract extension, he should lay out a solid strategy for the game’s most important position.
Sharp also revisited how Rhule made the Panthers’ quarterback spot like a revolving door of athletes.
Mayfield and rookie Matt Corral make it seven in two seasons.
Clearly, the Panthers do not have a long-term goal at quarterback.
If that’s the case, they’d be better off starting Corral sooner than later and hoping that he will pan out.