New Buccaneers opponent doesn’t move the needle enough in division
By Rob Leeds
The Baker Mayfield watch has finally come to a close. The Buccaneers are now going to face him twice a year when they play the Panthers.
The Buccaneers now have a new franchise quarterback to contend with in Carolina.
The Panthers have finally put an end to the conjecture regarding Baker Mayfield and his future outside of Cleveland. Too bad it doesn’t change that much for Carolina.
Now, Baker is a way better quarterback than Sam Darnold-that much is impossible to disagree with. In fact, Baker is in contention to be the second-best quarterback in the division from Day One depending on Jameis Winston and his health.
But even having the second quarterback in the division is not going to be enough to help this Panthers team overcome all of the organizational shortcomings from the top and the lack of quality players.
Mayfield’s coach is likely the worst in the division, the Panthers still have way too much money tied into a running back that isn’t a guarantee to play, and the receiving corps in Carolina comes in at third in the division by a wide margin.
The talent just isn’t there to inspire any confidence that Mayfield is going to make this team a contender with the Saints to win second in the division.
However, the good news for the Bucs is that this will give Mayfield plenty of time to get the lay of the land in the NFC South and decide whether or not he would like to compete with the other mediocre quarterbacks in Tampa for the starting job after the Tom Brady era.
One way or another, the Panthers did just get slightly better by making a major improvement at the quarterback position, but it isn’t enough to change their luck just yet.
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