With the acquisition of Baker Mayfield, Carolina took a chance on the former No.1 overall pick, and here will be those concerns for the upcoming 2022 season.
The Panthers got its’ coveted QB in the offseason, and here are the possible risks associated with acquiring Baker Mayfield, and how these can be mended.
There are three concerns noted about Mayfield that can hinder Carolina, but there are silver linings in all these, even if they are not huge. Mayfield and offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo may not work well together, and the former Browns QB may not adapt to Carolina’s culture for the start of the season. Perhaps the biggest concern is Mayfield’s shoulder after surgery and the aftermath. Let’s examine each.
Mayfield and McAdoo cannot coexist
It is possible that this player-offensive coordinator relationship is not a great one. Not every quarterback and OC work the same schemes with the same effectiveness.
McAdoo is hard on his quarterbacks in camp and during the season, which is not a bad thing, but it may be something Mayfield must adapt to. If he adapts, it will be in a hurry, and as a result there may be creases that will be in desperate need of ironing out.
This is especially true if these problems come to the surface in the first few weeks of the season. The Panthers play the Browns, Giants and Saints, and these are the easier games on the schedule. This will be arguably the easiest part of Carolian’s schedule, and if there are problems between the two, and it is hard to beat these teams, fans may be in for a long season.
One thing to Mayfield’s credit is that in the Browns' tumultuous history coaches, coordinators and playbooks change frequently. If anyone can adapt to a new offensive coordinator, Baker Mayfield should be considered one of those guys.
Mayfield does not adapt to culture
Making a significant move like this may shake the former No.1 overall pick because this is not simply a new coach, but a new city, chapter in life, and new team to play for.
While these athletes’ livelihood depends on how good they can be at their job as professional players, looking away from football can show problems off the field. Problems that could affect his on-field performance.
It may be crazy, but at this juncture, it is a possibility.
This move to a new franchise and fresh start however may revitalize Mayfield and he could come through for the black and blue. It will be interesting to see how he handles being on a new team and playing his former team the first week of the season.
The torn labrum
In September 2021, Mayfield suffered a partially torn labrum in his left shoulder before being reinjured in the following month. In the season finale, Mayfield missed that game for shoulder surgery on that tear.
This will affect how Mayfield plays, but to what extent will be worth watching throughout the 2022 season.
He stated in his first press conference with Carolina that he altered his throwing motion because of it. Mayfield feels like it paid off because he said he has not thrown the ball this well in a long time.
So, Mayfield’s shoulder will be a huge wild card in this season despite it being his non-throwing shoulder because this will affect his play.
It will just be how much does it affect Mayfield or is he healthy and rebounds from an abysmal season.