When the Carolina Panthers traded for Sam Darnold earlier this year, it was widely believed they did so with the idea of utilizing the former USC star as a bridge. That could still end up being the outcome, but may not necessarily be the Panthers’ plan.
Darnold was never surrounded by a strong supporting cast in the Big Apple. The circumstances in Carolina are much more encouraging, especially because of the coaching staff.
Brady now has another young quarterback to work with in Darnold, and that’s what excites him. Technically speaking, Darnold’s an NFL veteran, but he’s still just 24 years old. So far, Brady’s loved what he’s seen from the former USC star.
“Just seeing him make reads, just seeing the throws, seeing him play off schedule, seeing him in the pocket identifying protections,” Brady said of Darnold earlier this week, via ESPN.com. “It’s not like you’re getting a guy that’s brand new. You’re getting a veteran, a guy that just so happens to be young. That was extremely enticing to us.”
Sam Darnold has two seasons to try and prove he’s Carolina’s longterm solution at quarterback.
The Panthers picked up his second-year option, ensuring he’s with the team through the 2022-23 season. That sort of confidence boost can work wonders for young players like Darnold.
So far, the former first-round draft pick is off to a strong start for the Panthers. But until he takes the football field later this fall, Carolina won’t make any decisions regarding its future at the quarterback position.