During a recent appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer discussed the team’s trade for Darnold. He made it very clear that he wants the former No. 3 overall pick to use this opportunity as a do-over for his NFL career.
“We went out and traded for Sam because we saw the talent on tape,” Fitterer said. “We think we can help him. We want him to kind of just flush what’s happened. He’s only 23 years old. He played in a big media market, high-round pick. Just come here, let the players down here help you out. We surrounded him with a lot of good talent at receiver, we have the best running back in football, we’re going to have a really strong offensive line, and we’ve added to our defense. All of that plays together.”
Fitterer believes Carolina’s supporting cast will allow Darnold to play a brand of football that NFL fans haven’t seen from him yet.
“Don’t try to make the big plays, don’t try to go outside of himself. Just play football. Play fast, play loose and let the guys make plays with you.”
"He just has to be Sam."@Panthers GM Scott Fitterer talked about the keys to success for Carolina's new QB Sam Darnold
— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) May 6, 2021
Carolina could’ve selected Justin Fields or Mac Jones with the eighth overall pick in this year’s draft, but instead they decided to upgrade their secondary and take South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn.
The Panthers’ willingness to pass up on Fields or Jones should serve as a confidence booster for Sam Darnold this offseason.
We’ll find out this fall if the Panthers made the right decision by betting on Darnold.