After trading for Sam Darnold prior to this season and signing Cam Newton during the year, all we learned was that the 2022 starting Carolina Panthers quarterback shouldn’t be on the roster, currently. It’s tough to win games with mediocre quarterback play. Unfortunately for the Panthers, they couldn’t even get that.
Both Darnold and Newton were terrible this season. Darnold continues his inability to throw players open. He has to see his receivers open before he throws it, and it’s not a given he hits the correct target even if they’re doing jumping jacks down the sideline. As for Newton, it may have been a feel-good story for Panthers fans, but he never should have stepped foot on the turf again. Retirement is the most likely course of action for him.
Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper is clearly an impatient man. No matter the money needed, he will likely continue to do anything and everything possible to find the best Panthers starting quarterback. Another move is coming this offseason. These are the three most likely starting Carolina Panthers quarterbacks heading into next season. This list excludes Darnold, who is still under contract, though he has given zero signs of confidence.
3 Most Likely Starting Carolina Panthers Quarterbacks for 2022
Jameis Winston tore his ACL in and damaged his MCL in Week 8 this season. So, it’s not a given that he will be ready to go in Week 1 next season. However, we could easily see him sign a short-term deal with the Panthers in order to protect themselves from any lingering knee issues. He could take his time coming back, while Darnold begins the season as the starting Carolina Panthers quarterback for a couple of weeks.
Winston wasn’t great this season, but he didn’t have much to work with in New Orleans. He threw 14 touchdowns to only three interceptions, showing growth in that regard. While he had one big game against Washington, Winston was mostly asked to be a game manager. It’s possible he would rather sign with Carolina where he can throw the ball around a bit more.
It feels like Tyrod Taylor has been in the NFL forever, continually getting starting jobs and losing them after he gets injured. However, he will only be 33 years old at the start of next season. He’s younger than Russell Wilson and a little over two years older than Jimmy Garoppolo.
Tyrod Taylor is a good quarterback. He made the Texans competitive when he was in this season, won his only start with the Chargers and he brought the Bills to the NFL Playoffs in his final year with the team. He’s a great leader and solid player that the Panthers would certainly benefit from signing. Taylor would also be a cheap enough option to allow the team to keep Darnold as the backup Carolina Panthers quarterback.
The drama around Deshaun Watson has quieted down, though there are plenty of legal things that need to be figured out. Even if he is cleared of everything, it seems obvious his time in Houston is done. His ideal destination was Miami, but the Dolphins recently fired head coach Brian Flores. Now, he will need to re-evaluate where he wants to go.
Watson is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the NFL. He would immediately make the Panthers a dangerous team in the NFC South, given the weapons he will have around him.
Again, the assumption with the pick is that Watson is cleared of all legal issues. However, if he is, Deshaun Watson should be Tepper’s top choice to be the starting Carolina Panthers quarterback in 2022.