CHARLOTTE, NC ( Associated Press) – Baker Mayfield’s fleeting era at Carolina has come to an end.
The Panthers on Monday released the quarterback, who was the first overall pick in the 2018 draft, after requesting his release from the team. If no trade is proposed, Mayfield will remain transferable and become a free agent.
The verdict isn’t surprising. Sam Darnold replaced Mayfield after his second stint as the starting quarterback, and the Panthers will be pleased with the performance of replacement PJ Walker.
Mayfield will now have a chance to reach out to a team in need of quarterback help.
San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacksonville’s Trevor Lawrence and Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson suffered injuries over the weekend.
Interim Panthers coach Steve Wilkes asked to keep Mayfield on transfer after it was reported that Darnold would be the starter and Walker the backup for Sunday’s game in Seattle.
“Baker has been a professional since he came here. A consummate professional,” Wilkes insisted. “I have the utmost respect for him.”
Wilkes said he had prioritized Walker after “taking a look at the backlog of work over the last few weeks”.
“I thought PJ was productive when he was there,” he said.
Mayfield had a 1–5 record as Carolina’s starting quarterback, completing just 57.8% of his passes with six touchdowns and the same number of interceptions.
Panthers general manager Scott Fitzgerald acquired Mayfield in a trade earlier this season after a failed attempt to acquire Deshaun Watson from Houston.
Mayfield edged out Darnold for the starting job during the preseason. Darnold later injured his ankle and only recently returned to action.
Carolina will trade Mayfield to the Cleveland Browns for a 2024 fifth-round draft pick.