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Matt Rhule job hinges on Mayfield and it’s unfair | #KeepPounding

Matt Rhule may be fired as head coach if the Carolina Panthers do not acquire Baker Mayfield, at least that’s how James Jones views it.

On NFL Total Access, analyst James Jones expressed that success largely depends on the quarterback, and that if a coach does not win, then he is fired. Comparatively, Jones believes Mayfield is the better option and Carolina needs the former No.1 overall pick.

“We’ve seen the best of Sam Darnold, we can’t keep giving Darnold more chances. Baker Mayfield led this Cleveland Browns team to the playoffs and won on the road in Pittsburgh,” Jones said. “If you do not bring in a quarterback you are going to end up being fired depending on Sam Darnold.”

NFL analyst Brian Baldinger said that Mayfield was a better quarterback and more accomplished than Darnold, and despite a bad 2021 from the Cleveland QB, he should be the main target for the Panthers.

“I know people always remember what happened last year, but he was playing with a shoulder that was falling off all year long and he tried to gut it out as best he could and I think he put up a good season,” Baldinger said. “But I think he’s a better player and if Carolina is serious about getting into the race here, get the best possible player you can at that position.”

While the sentiment that Rhule is on the hot seat cannot be argued if he loses that job should not depend on Baker Mayfield or not. Rhule coached the Panthers to abysmal seasons since taking over no doubt, but there are more factors that come into this.

The offensive line is a big deciding factor since it was the biggest priority in the offseason. The way this line comes together and develops, especially Ikem Ekwonu, may impact Rhule’s job.

Another factor may be the new offensive coordinator and how Rhule works with Ben McAdoo. It does not seem Carolina played a solid quarterback since 2015 because Cam Newton fell off after. Matt Rhule is not responsible for that, but the Teddy Bridgewater year and these next years are, and a better quarterback helps. But most importantly getting this offense clicking impacts Rhule. When Christian McCaffrey plays, he is almost the entire offense as the passing game seems to vanquish. Rhule and McAdoo must make the offense multi-dimensional and stop relying on CMC for every yard.

Lastly, yes, the quarterback situation does impact Rhule, but not whether he gets Mayfield or not. The impact comes from what happens around Darnold, and if Carolina develops Matt Corral properly. Then in free agency for 2023, who the Panthers target. It is not black and white where Mayfield means job and no Mayfield means fired. There are options that can mend the gap between this season and Corral being ready for the starting position.

This season is where important decisions will be made throughout, and at the end there may be a few jobs up for grabs. Carolina fans, strap in because this will be a huge season.