Panthers Make Surprising Decision Regarding Baker Mayfield's Future

By Jason Hall

December 5, 2022

Carolina Panthers v Baltimore Ravens
Photo: Getty Images

The Carolina Panthers are reportedly expected to release quarterback Baker Mayfield, which will effectively place him on waivers, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport on Monday (December 5).

"Sources: The #Panthers are expected to release QB Baker Mayfield. He'll hit waivers when it's finalized later today," Rapoport tweeted.

Any NFL team that claims Mayfield on waivers will need to pay the remaining $1,349,444 he's owed as part of his guaranteed contract, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports.

The San Francisco 49ers, who are now without Trey Lance and Jimmy Garappolo for the remainder of the season, are currently "near the bottom of the priority list," according to Pelissero, who later tweeted out the entire waiver priority, which listed San Francisco as 24th among all 32 teams.

The Houston Texans are currently No. 1 on the NFL waiver priority rankings, followed by the Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Rams and the Panthers.

Mayfield reportedly requested the release from the Panthers amid the team's decision to go with Sam Darnold or P.J. Walker for the remainder of the 2022 season, sources with knowledge of the situation told ESPN's David Newton on Monday.

"Multiple league sources tell me Baker Mayfield asked for his release," Newton tweeted. "Makes sense with teams like the 49ers possibly looking for a veteran quarterback. Had he not asked he may have been released anyway with the Panthers going with Sam Darnold and P.J. Walker the rest of the way."

Mayfield, a former No 1 overall pick, has struggled during his fifth NFL season, which is his first with the Panthers since being acquired in a trade during the offseason.

The former Heisman Trophy winner went 1-5 in six starts and threw for 1,313 yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions on 119 of 206 passing in seven total appearances, which includes a 74.4 passer rating and 16.8 quarterback rating, both of which are career lows.

Mayfield was initially ruled out for "at least a couple weeks" due to a high ankle sprain and replaced by Walker on October 10.

Mayfield replaced Walker late in the Panthers' blowout loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on November 6, throwing for 155 yards and two touchdowns on 14 of 20 passing.

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