Why the Carolina Panthers should avoid trading for Baker Mayfield

Out of all the rumors that have surrounded the Panthers this offseason, this one scares me the most. Trading for Baker Mayfield would be the biggest mistake the Panthers could make this offseason.

Baker Mayfield can be a very good thrower of the football. He has an elite arm and his accuracy when healthy is top 10. It’s the mental side of his game where his deficiencies present themselves. He struggles to go through reads and can be fooled by opposing defenses which leads to interceptions. This has always been Baker’s weakness. In order to prevent that weakness from being exposed, Kevin Stefanski built a scheme in Cleveland that is focused on a strong run game followed up by an under-center deep play-action that keeps Baker out of true passing situations and allows him to do what he does best: throw the ball downfield.

This is not what Ben McAdoo’s offenses are known for; in fact, it’s almost the exact opposite. His offenses in New York (along with Carolina’s 2021 offense) focused on a quick-read passing game out of the shotgun that asked his QBs to make quick 3-step drops to get the ball out fast. These are the exact kind of situations where Baker struggles. Baker is a gunslinger and as previously discussed, he can struggle to read defenses. Putting him in a scheme where he’s being asked to be essentially a game manager is not a good idea. Freddie Kitchens tried to do with Mayfield in 2019 and it failed miserably. Baker may be good in some situations, but not in Carolina’s. Even at the peak of Baker’s career in 2020, he still struggled in obvious drop-back passing situations finishing with the 10th highest INT% (4.6%) and finishing outside the top 20 in completion percentage (63.1%) and passer rating (86.9) in such situations. 

Baker’s talents lay with his arm; not his ability to manage games. The mental aspect of being able to identify defenses and progress through reads is as important as the ability to throw the ball and that is something that Mayfield really struggles with. He is not a pocket passer that can carry a team throwing 35+ times a game. If you’re a Panthers fan who is slamming the table for Baker Mayfield, I think you really need to reevaluate your opinion because is not a fit for Carolina financially or on the field. He may be better than Matt Corral or Sam Darnold, but he is not the answer the Panthers need.

What do you think?

michaelfeeks
Hello! My name is Michael! I am a journalist with the Sports Wave! I am a huge NFL fan and am the owner of the Instagram page @panthersranter! I love discussing football and look forward to continue doing so on this platform.

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