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Matt Rhule Announces Surprising Decision On Panthers' Quarterback Competition

Panthers head coach Matt Rhule.

It's fairly obvious Baker Mayfield will start for the Carolina Panthers this upcoming season. He's a clear upgrade over 2021 starter Sam Darnold. However, Panthers head coach Matt Rhule isn't letting Mayfield win the job that easily just yet. 

Rhule announced this Monday that Mayfield and Darnold will continue sharing first-team reps. It's a bizarre development. Mayfield is clearly the better option. 

"Matt Rhule: Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold will continue to share first-team reps during practices w/ the Patriots, which Rhule said in some ways are more important than Friday’s game," said Joe Person.

You'd think Matt Rhule would just come out and make a decision on his starting quarterback. 

The Panthers acquired Baker Mayfield in a trade with the Cleveland Browns earlier in the offseason. They clearly did so for him to be their starting quarterback. Why won't Rhule just name him the starter already?

In the Panthers' most recent preseason game, Mayfield completed four of his seven pass attempts for 47 yards. Darnold, meanwhile, had just two completions on three attempts for 16 yards and one touchdown. 

Carolina begins the 2022 season on Sept. 11 vs. the Cleveland Browns.