3 Most Likely Panthers Starting Quarterbacks for 2022

Devon Platana
The three most likely candidates to be the Carolina Panthers starting quarterback for the 2022 NFL season.
The three most likely candidates to be the Carolina Panthers starting quarterback for the 2022 NFL season. / Lance King/GettyImages

Despite a 3-0 start to the 2021 NFL season, the Carolina Panthers disappointed fans with their third straight five-win campaign. While there were a lot of factors behind the disappointing season, one thing that didn't help was the team's quarterback carousel.

The Sam Darnold experiment didn't work out the way that the team had planned. Bringing back Cam Newton mid-season didn't pay off either, with him going 0-5 in five starts. Plus, P.J. Walker didn't look special in his limited playing time either.

With all Newton and Walker hitting free agency this offseason and Darnold failing to live up to the hype, Carolina could look a lot different under center next season.

Here's a look at the three most like players to be the Panthers starting quarterback in 2022.

Panthers Quarterback

1. Kenny Pickett

While the 2022 NFL Draft isn't that deep for quarterbacks, the Panthers may take one with the No. 6 pick since they won't be on the board again until Round 4. Pittsburgh Panthers starting QB Kenny Pickett is one of the best at his position in the draft and is a reigning Heisman Trophy finalist. The 23-year-old is coming off of his best collegiate campaign that saw him finish was career-highs in completion rating (67.2%), passing yards (4,319) and touchdowns (42).

2. Jameis Winston

Another veteran QB who's due to hit free agency this offseason is Jameis Winston. The 28-year-old was having a terrific start to the 2021 season before his year came to an end due to a torn ACL. Still, he managed to put up 1,170 passing yards and 14 touchdowns (plus three interceptions) in seven starts. If he's available, the Panthers should take a swing at him because he'd be an immediate upgrade over the trio they start this year. Winston is also one of the top QB free-agent names in an otherwise lackluster pool, so it's not like Carolina can do much better than him on the open market. If he can be the same player that he was to start the season, the Panthers would instantly be a better team.

3. Sam Darnold

While Darnold's play left a lot to be desired this season, he's still on the books for 2022 at $18.8 million. That's not an easily moveable contract, which is why he could be Carolina's starting QB next season as well. At the end of the day, Darnold did win more games (4) than the other quarterbacks on the roster. The Panthers may not also be convinced that they can find a starter that they like in the draft or through free agency, which is why they may stick to Darnold for another season until they find their guy. Nevertheless, don't expect Panthers fans to be thrilled if that's the case.

Sign up for FanDuel Sportsbook today and get your first bet risk free for up to $1,000!

Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.