NFL Rumors: Panthers Still Considering Jimmy Garoppolo, Baker Mayfield or Nick Foles

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVMay 2, 2022

CLEVELAND, OHIO - JANUARY 09: Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns looks on during warm-ups before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium on January 09, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Carolina Panthers may have drafted Matt Corral in the third round, but they're still expected to consider adding a veteran quarterback this offseason.

Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated reported the Panthers plan to "kick around the idea" of adding Jimmy Garoppolo, Baker Mayfield or Nick Foles to compete with Corral and Sam Darnold. 

Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer told reporters Saturday that the team is "happy with the group we have."

"I never put an absolute on anything," he said. "We came into this weekend with the intention of getting a quarterback, and that's what we did. And we're going to go with this group."

The Panthers' ultimate decision on whether to add a veteran may come down to price point. Foles was released by the Chicago Bears on Sunday, making him the only option of the three currently available on the free-agent market. He'll also be by far the cheapest of the trio, given Garoppolo ($24.2 million) and Mayfield ($18.9 million) are both set to get starter-level money in 2022.

It's possible the 49ers or Browns wind up outright releasing their high-priced backups, though that seems far likelier to happen in Cleveland than in San Francisco. Garoppolo remains in good standing with the 49ers coaching staff and is well-liked by teammates. It's possible the team simply keeps him around as the NFL's highest-paid backup.

Mayfield seems far likelier to agitate his way out of Cleveland. He's already requested a trade and went public in saying he felt "disrespected" by the organization. It would be an untenable situation to have him on the roster going into training camp, especially given the sexual assault allegations against Deshaun Watson already creating a significant distraction.

The Panthers may be more willing to bring Mayfield in via trade if the Browns agree to eat a significant chunk of his 2022 salary.