Sam Darnold landing spots: 3 logical NFL team fits for Panthers QB

Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints
Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints

Sam Darnold’s position as the starting quarterback for the Carolina Panthers has come into question a lot lately, especially with the 2022 NFL Draft in Las Vegas on Thursday.

Many draft analysts have the Panthers selecting a quarterback with their 6th overall selection, Kenny Pickett of Pittsburgh and Malik Willis out of Liberty being the most likely candidates.

If Carolina does decide to select a new signal-caller, it will leave Darnold’s future with the team in question. He was only acquired via trade from the New York Jets a year ago, but had an underwhelming 2021 season. In 11 starts, he threw nine touchdowns against 13 interceptions and now both parties might be looking elsewhere. Here are three potential NFL teams that could be ideal landing spots for the former third overall pick Sam Darnold.

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Sam Darnold NFL Teams Landing Spots

#1 - Houston Texans

Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Houston Texans are arguably one of the most logical landing spots for the quarterback. At the time of writing, the Texans only have Davis Mills, Jeff Driskel and Kyle Allen on their roster in his position. Darnold would back himself to start before these options.

Mills had a solid rookie campaign, and there is talk that the Texans and head coach Lovie Smith will be happy to roll with him for 2022. Bringing in an experienced quarterback like Darnold can only help the quarterback room. If Mills has a sophomore slump, the Texans could do a lot worse than trade for the former USC man. It would allow them to focus their attention in the upcoming draft to the other needs on their roster.

#2 - Seattle Seahawks

Carolina Panthers vs Pittsburgh Steelers
Carolina Panthers vs Pittsburgh Steelers

The Seattle Seahawks have to be in the market for a quarterback after trading long-time starter Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos. Seattle currently only have Jacob Eason, Drew Lock and Geno Smith in their quarterback room. Much like the Texans situation, Darnold is arguably an upgrade on all three.

Superstar wide receivers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett will be hoping and expecting the team to make a move at quarterback to help their production. The Seahawks aren’t on the clock in the NFL Draft until 9th overall, which could be too low to grab the quarterback they want. He could be the ideal bridging quarterback for Seattle as they look to start a new era without Wilson.

#3 - Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers v Atlanta Falcons
Carolina Panthers v Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons lost long-time quarterback Matt Ryan this offseason when he was traded to the Indianapolis Colts. Despite bringing in Marcus Mariota, they could do worse than bring in Carolina's quarterback.

Mariota, formerly of the Tennessee Titans and Las Vegas Raiders, hasn’t started an NFL game since 2019, and there is no guarantee that the move to bring him in will pay dividends. Bringing in Darnold makes sense, both for competition and insurance against injury. Atlanta would then be assured of a competent starter as their signal-caller. Whether he is an upgrade over Mariota is unclear, but having the pair on the roster could only be a good thing as the Falcons look to improve on their 7-10 record last season.

His knowledge of the NFC South during his time in Carolina could prove useful as well.

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Edited by John Maxwell
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