Panthers GM Scott Fitterer had previously said his team's starting quarterback position was "open" for the taking. He's clearly changed his tune.
"The whole key is bringing Sam [Darnold] along,'' Fitterer told reporters on Friday, via ESPN's David Newton. "He's in the lead for that job.''
Is it time to panic in Carolina?
Some think it's all a smokescreen considering Sam Darnold is only one of two quarterback options the Panthers have right now, PJ Walker being the other.
"Folks overreacting to this," The 4 Man Rush tweeted. "Why wouldn't Darnold be in the lead right now? The only QBs on the roster are him and PJ Walker. And if we draft a guy, then the rookie will enter camp as the #2."
"Translation: we’re taking a quarterback at #6," a fan said.
A few more fans think the team's handling of the quarterback situation deserves multiple firings.
"Fire everyone," one fan tweeted.
"This really the worst period in Panther football history lol it’s like 2010 over and over and over," another fan commented.
The Ringer's Steven Ruiz might have had the best reaction of them all:
Will Sam Darnold really be the Panthers' starting quarterback later this fall? It's a likely outcome.
Carolina is likely to take a quarterback with the sixth overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. In such a scenario, starting Darnold over the rookie would allow the rookie to learn from the bench.
The other option for the Panthers is to trade for a more proven veteran like Jimmy Garoppolo. They could then use the No. 6 pick on another position of need and move forward with Garoppolo and Darnold this season.