Carolina Panthers to have ‘Open Competition’ for starting QB spot with Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold fighting to be #1, plus possible wildcards Roman Gabriel and Sonny Jurgensen

GM: Panthers to have ‘open competition’ between Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold
from Zac Wassink, with

After the Carolina Panthers agreed to acquire quarterback Baker Mayfield from the Cleveland Browns last week, most assumed that 2021 Week 1 Carolina starter Sam Darnold had essentially been replaced atop the depth chart.

However, it was later reported that the Panthers have no intention of parting ways with Darnold and, instead, plan to hold a competition between overall picks No. 1 and No. 3 from the 2018 NFL Draft.

Both Mayfield and Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer spoke during Tuesday’s event meant to introduce the former Cleveland QB1 as a new Carolina player, and ESPN’s Mike Triplett notes that Fitterer insisted Mayfield and Darnold will participate in an “open competition” for the job during training camp and the preseason.

“The reason why we added Baker was to make the group better as a whole,” Fitterer explained. “Sam is very much a part of this competition. … I think they’re both gonna rise and play their best football they have.”

Both Mayfield and Darnold are in the final years of their contracts. Fitterer said that extending Mayfield and/or trading Darnold hasn’t been discussed.

“We’ll let it play out throughout the season and we’ll make decisions later in the season whether it’s November or December, once there’s a track record behind (Mayfield) in this offense and this organization. … I just want to take it short term for now,” Fitterer added during his comments. Meanwhile, Fitterer said that third-round draft pick Matt Corral will “learn at his own pace” behind the veterans.

It is widely presumed the Pittsburgh Steelers are holding a quarterback “competition” in name only and are actually preparing to start Mitchell Trubisky over backup Mason Rudolph and first-round choice Kenny Pickett. Assuming Fitterer was being honest, Carolina fans should prepare themselves for a legitimate battle between Mayfield and Darnold this summer.

++++++++++If the Panthers could bring on Roman Gabriel or Sonny Jurgensen, here is what they would be getting, and this is deal, that might be a steal…..++++++++++
Roman Gabriel
Position: Quarterback
Personal information
Born: August 5, 1940 (age 81)
Wilmington, North Carolina
Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight: 225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High school: New Hanover
(Wilmington, North Carolina)
College: NC State (1959–1961)
NFL Draft: 1962 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2
AFL Draft: 1962 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1

Sonny Jurgensen
Position: Quarterback
Personal information
Born: August 23, 1934 (age 87)
Wilmington, North Carolina
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight: 202 lb (92 kg)
Career information
High school: New Hanover
(Wilmington, North Carolina)
College: Duke
NFL Draft: 1957 / Round: 4 / Pick: 43
Career history
Philadelphia Eagles (1957–1963)
Washington Redskins (1964–1974)
Career highlights and awards
NFL champion (1960)
First-team All-Pro (1961)
3× Second-team All-Pro (1966, 1967, 1969)
5× Pro Bowl (1961, 1964, 1966, 1967, 1969)
5× NFL passing yards leader (1961, 1962, 1966, 1967, 1969)
2× NFL passing touchdowns leader (1961, 1967)
NFL passer rating leader (1967)
NFL completion percentage leader (1970)
NFL 1960s All-Decade Team
Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame
Washington Commanders Ring of Fame
NFL record
Longest touchdown pass: 99 yards (tied)
Career NFL statistics
Pass attempts: 4,262
Pass completions: 2,433
Completion percentage: 57.1
TD–INT: 255–189
Passing yards: 32,224
Passer rating: 82.6