This was a no-brainer for the Panthers after trading for the former first-overall pick in the offseason.
The Panthers have been in QB purgatory for the past few seasons.
While Mayfield is far from perfect, he may be the best option at quarterback the Panthers have had since Cam Newton.
Pretty deep ball from @bakermayfield. 🎯
— NFL (@NFL) August 2, 2022
Mayfield was not very good last season in Cleveland and that is why the Browns traded for Deshaun Watson.
In his four-year career with the Browns, Mayfield finished with a 29-30 record.
Although he did end the Browns’ playoff drought in 2020.
Despite having the best year of his career in 2020, Mayfield struggled all 2021.
He went 6-8 as a starter and threw 17 touchdowns with 13 interceptions.
He also had a career-worst 35.1 QBR last season.
The accuracy that helped make Mayfield the first-overall pick seemingly diminished.
According to Player Profiler, Mayfield ranked 30th in Red Zone accuracy rating, 26th in deep ball accuracy rating, and 32nd in clean pocket accuracy rating.
Part of those numbers being so poor is that Mayfield suffer a separated shoulder, which he played through all season.
Now fully healthy, this may be the last chance for the new Panthers QB to make a name for himself.
At the end of the day, the Panthers need to see if Mayfield can return to his college form before looking for another long-term answer.
The good thing for Mayfield is that Carolina has a good set of weapons to work with.
Christian McCaffrey is arguably the best running back in the NFL when healthy.
Also, he is a great pass catcher, which will help Mayfield out of the backfield.
The offense will go through McCaffrey so short passes to their most skilled player will be a necessity for Mayfield.
The Panthers also have D.J. Moore as their number one receiver.
The 25-year-old receiver has had three straight 1,000-yard seasons, despite having poor quarterback play.
DJ Moore has three consecutive seasons with at least 1,100 receiving yards. Here are the quarterbacks who have been throwing him passes over that stretch. pic.twitter.com/4RyvnqWA0c
— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) August 13, 2022
But, in four NFL seasons, Moore only has 14 touchdowns.
The hope is that Mayfield will build a strong connection with Moore because he is by far their best receiver.
The one issue Mayfield will face in Carolina is a much worse offensive line than that of Cleveland.
According to PFF, the Panthers have the 24th-ranked offensive line in the NFL.
That could be problematic for Mayfield who is not a mobile QB.
Panthers Playoff Bound?
The Panthers’ Week 1 matchup is against the Browns, so it is poetic that Mayfield will be starting against his former mates.
Mayfield should be highly motivated in that game to make a good first impression with Carolina.
Also, playing in the NFC South makes it difficult for the Panthers to win their division.
They have to face Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers two times a year and that is a mismatch for Carolina.
With the Bucs as heavy division favorites, the Panthers should have their sights set on one of three Wild Card spots.
This may be the final chance for Panthers head coach Matt Rhule to make strides with this team.
In his two years with the Panthers, their record is 10-23.
The pressure is on the quarterback and coach to make it work in Carolina and it will be interesting to see the results.