Panthers likely to remain in market for veteran QB

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The Carolina Panthers, and especially offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, got what they wanted at the quarterback position from the 2022 NFL draft. But does that mean they’re done adding under center this offseason?

Ellis L. Williams of The Charlotte Observer doesn’t necessarily believe that to be the case. In fact, he thinks the Panthers are still keeping an ear to the ground on a pair of passers they’ve previously been linked to.

While joining the Thursday edition of FOX Sports Upstate’s Game On with John and Richmond, Williams said he expects Carolina to maintain a calculated level of interest in a veteran quarterback—with San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo and Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield of particular note.

“It’s not gonna be over ’til it’s over, y’all,” Williams stated. “I think in a perfect world, one of those quarterbacks is in Carolina and Sam Darnold isn’t.”

There, of course, is the catch. Acquiring a Garoppolo or a Mayfield with the money they’ll be making in 2022 ($24.2 million and $18.8 million, respectively) won’t be easy considering Darnold is in line for an $18.8 million salary himself.

And that, according to Williams, is what may still be standing in the way of a deal.

“Now, I need to make very clear that that is a very challenging transition or transaction to happen,” he added. “A lot would have to break the Panthers’ way. It would take some incredible gymnastics from GM Scott Fitterer. But when you fantasy book this quarterback room, you can see how Jimmy Garoppolo, Matt Corral and P.J. Walker make a lot of sense, and Sam Darnold is elsewhere continuing his rehabilitation in the league just needing another change of scenery.”

Additionally, a recent report from CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson reveals another complicated layer for a potential move. She noted on Thursday that a team who expressed interest in Mayfield backed off due to the Browns’ asking price.

So, as they did with their third-round pounce of Corral, it seems as though the Panthers are once again inclined to play the waiting game to get more of what they want.

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