Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper has spared no expense in trying to get his team back into title contention. Among those expenses was a big trade for quarterback Sam Darnold, which Tepper is now defending.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Tepper defended Darnold's continued presence on the roster despite his rough 2021 season. He believes that Darnold is "very good" and gave no indication that the team plans to move on from him.
“I do think we have a very good quarterback in Sam Darnold," Tepper said. He went on to point to Darnold's first three games at the helm and pointed out the litany of injuries that preceded the team faltering down the stretch.
Darnold went 4-7 as a starter in 2021. He completed 59.9-percent of his passes for 2,527 yards and nine touchdowns with 13 interceptions and was benched late in the season.
As you can imagine, Tepper's defense of Darnold after the year he had isn't going over well with fans. The reaction has been pretty vicious in the fanbase:
The Carolina Panthers have the No. 6 overall pick in tomorrow's 2022 NFL Draft. With none of the teams in front of them expected to draft a quarterback, Carolina would have every rookie quarterback available to them.
But if David Tepper is convinced that Darnold can lead the Panthers to the promised land, they might go in another direction tomorrow.
Carolina have not made the playoffs since 2017 and have won just 15 games in the last three years.
Is Tepper making a mistake by continuing to support Sam Darnold, or is his defense just a smokescreen?