The former first-round pick could soon be replaced and looking for another job if Mayfield is successful in Carolina.
Darnold is entering his fifth year in the NFL, and has already gone through two teams.
His stint with the New York Jets would only be three years, while it looks as if he won’t last past his second year with the Panthers.
This type of moment with him puts him in an NFL purgatory, as he’ll most likely be looking for another team next season.
Is Darnold The Issue, Or Is He A Victim Of Bad Coaching And Offense With Teams?
Darnold landed with two of the worst teams in the NFL during his career.
This stems from both bad coaching and not having the right offensive weapons.
His time with the Jets was the worst for him during his career, as fans saw he never had help there.
Media on D. Watson:
“He’s got no help. What do you expect”.
Media on Sam Darnold, who has never had help:
“Make or break year for this kid. Jets might have to move on”
— Glenn Naughton (@AceFan23) September 12, 2020
However, he at least had some weapons in Carolina as their QB.
But that help didn’t last long, as Christian McCaffrey suffered an injury early in 2021.
It would end his early-season winning streak with the team, and put him on the hot seat.
While he lost most of his games without his star running back, the team was quick to replace him.
However, he would perform well with the right players around him in Carolina.
This makes a case for him being a victim of bad coaching and lack of weapons when he doesn’t succeed.
But you can’t make it in the NFL if you can’t find success without an elite team around you.
So where does Darnold go when 2023 comes and he’s on the market?
Lions And Buccaneers Could Go After Him In 2023
A landing spot for Darnold out of the NFL purgatory could be the Detroit Lions.
Their head coach, Dan Campbell, clearly believes the team doesn’t need an elite QB to find success.
Do you agree with Dan Campbell that you don't need an elite quarterback for sustained success? #OnePride
— Woodward Sports Network (@woodwardsports) April 11, 2022
Darnold fits that bill, if the Lions wish to move on from current QB Jared Goff.
However, another landing spot could see him with a super team around him.
If you believe that coaching and offensive weapons are Darnold’s issue, then the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could change that for him in 2023.
With Tom Brady‘s contract set to expire in 2023 with Tampa, they would need a replacement if he didn’t come back.
It could be an interesting landing spot for him, if it were to happen.
If they got him in 2023, it could give him that moment to show fans if he’s a failure or if everyone else around him in the past failed him.
Failing with the Buccaneers offense would prove he’s not the quarterback he might think he is.
However, finding success there would show Carolina is making the wrong choice.
When you break things down, Darnold has shown he’s right behind Mayfield in NFL stats on a per-game basis.
Doing that with fewer weapons could prove he can lead a team with all the right players around him.