Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule has publicly expressed his belief in quarterback Sam Darnold. Darnold, who was selected at No. 2 in the 2018 NFL draft, didn't enjoy much success with the New York Jets so they traded him to the Panthers this offseason.
“We believe in Sam,” Rhule said, per Pro Football Talk. “We believe in his skill set. We believe in his approach. . . . I don’t think there’s a game you watch, he doesn’t make a play where you don’t say ‘there it is.’ I think his arm talent, his movement, are a great fit for the guys here that he’ll be playing with”.
A few days ago, Darnold admitted it hurt him a little bit that the team that drafted him decided to move on from him. “There’s a little bit of both — relief and excitement,” Darnold said, via Darin Gantt of Panthers.com.
“There’s been so much uncertainty this offseason, not knowing what your future was going to look like, that was hard. . . . But now that I’m in Charlotte, I’m excited, and yeah, I guess I am kind of relieved to be here.'
Darnold thought he'd be the Jets quarterback for a long time
“I imagined I was going to be the franchise quarterback of the New York Jets for a long time,” Darnold said. “And once you realize that the team that drafted you is moving on, it stings a little bit.'
' Most importantly, Darnold feels wanted by the Panthers and happy with his new team. “To go from being unwanted to being wanted is huge,” Darnold said. “Getting that news that you’re going to be traded, of a team saying, ‘Hey, we didn’t want you,” for whatever reason, is hard.
. . . But right now, I feel great about it, and I’m excited to get here, and get started.' ' The Panthers gave up a total of three picks to acquire Darnold. "This doesn't take us out of anything in the draft," Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer said, per ESPN.
"It doesn't take us out of taking a quarterback, it doesn't take us out of taking any position. What we wanted to do going into this draft, through free agency, through this trade with Sam, was to just get rid of all the needs we have.
"We wanted to get to a place where the roster was in a good spot, and we could take the best available player at No. 8. We could always move up, and we could always move back, but this puts us in a position to make the right football decision for this team moving forward."