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Baker Mayfield Distancing Himself In Competition: NFL World Reacts

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - JULY 20: Baker Mayfield of Carolina Panthers looks on prior to the Pre-Season Friendly match between Chelsea FC and Charlotte FC at Bank of America Stadium on July 20, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - JULY 20: Baker Mayfield of Carolina Panthers looks on prior to the Pre-Season Friendly match between Chelsea FC and Charlotte FC at Bank of America Stadium on July 20, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

Baker Mayfield entered Carolina Panthers training camp having to play catch up. 

The former No. 1 overall pick had just been traded to his new team, and now had to learn a new offense. Meanwhile, Sam Darnold, Carolina's primary starter last season, had the last several months to familiarize himself with the scheme.

Right now, none of that seems to be mattering. According to Joe Person of The Athletic, Mayfield is "distancing himself" from Darnold in the competition for the No. 1 job. 

"The 2018 No. 1 overall pick didn’t look like he was overthinking things Monday," Person wrote. "Mayfield was ripping throws and gaining separation from Sam Darnold in the much-scrutinized quarterback competition."

It's not too surprising to see this happening. Even with some of the struggles he's had, Mayfield has been better than Darnold since they both entered the league in 2018.

Panthers fans seemingly have been prepared for Mayfield to start for a while now.

Assuming Mayfield is named the starter as expected, his first regular season start will come in Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns, his former team.

In the meantime, Mayfield will presumably make his preseason debut for the Panthers against the Washington Commanders this Saturday.