Sam Darnold: I’m just going to focus on developing as a quarterback

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A report this week said that the Panthers have continued having conversations with the Browns about a trade that would send Baker Mayfield to Carolina ahead of the 2022 season.

That report indicated that the Panthers would have liked to get a deal done in time for Mayfield to take part in this week’s minicamp, but the issue of how much salary the Browns will pick up to facilitate a trade remained a major sticking point between the teams . Minicamp is wrapping up, so there won’t be any trade right now but the possibility will linger as long as Mayfield remains in Cleveland.

One might imagine that would make current Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold a bit uncomfortable, but he’s maintained all offseason that he’s focused on himself. That continued to be the case at a Wednesday press conference.

“I’m just going to continue to focus on what I need to, develop as I can as a quarterback,” Darnold said. “Like I mentioned before, learn the system. If I focus on anything other than that, it wouldn’t be smart of me to do that. “

There’s nothing Darnold can do on the field between now and the start of the season to keep the Panthers from deciding to make a trade, which leaves him with little choice but to try to prepare as best he can for another year as the starter. If that goes well and the Panthers stand pat, he might be able to set the stage for a more prosperous second act in Carolina.

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