NFL draft reinforces Panthers commitment to QB Sam Darnold

Updated: May. 1, 2021 at 11:53 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The NFL draft certainly proved one thing for the Carolina Panthers: they’re all-in on quarterback Sam Darnold.

The Panthers’ decision to pass on Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields with the eighth overall pick in the draft and pick up the fifth-year option on Darnold’s contract paying him $18.9 million in 2022 indicate the team is fully committed to the 2018 No. 3 overall pick.

Carolina also traded away last year’s starter Teddy Bridgewater before the draft, meaning Darnold is the clear starter entering the offseason.

The Panthers put playmakers around Darnold over the weekend, selecting seven offensive players.

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