The Panthers have picked up the fifth-year option for quarterback Sam Darnold, according to a report from Tom Pelissero.
The #Panthers picked up QB Sam Darnold's fifth-year option, as GM Scott Fitterer said they would after executing the trade.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 30, 2021
This move was expected after the Panthers decided against drafting a quarterback with the No. 8 pick in the draft last night, instead opting to take South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn with their first rounder.
The fifth-year option will cost the Panthers $18.9 million against the cap in 2022, which won’t be too expensive if Darnold turns his career around in the way Matt Rhule expects.
*Round it up to $18.9 million. $18.858 if we're being specific.— Alaina Getzenberg (@agetzenberg) April 30, 2021
At the very least, this move gives the Panthers two years to figure out whether or not Darnold is the right guy for the future of the team, and after trading Teddy Bridgewater to the Broncos for a sixth round pick it’s safe to say they’re all in on trying to build something around Darnold’s skillset. Time will tell if this is the right move or not, but for now the Panthers believe they have something special. We just have to hope they’re right.