How the Baker Mayfield trade impacts the Saints

Kristen Wong
Baker Mayfield. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Baker Mayfield. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Short answer: It doesn’t.

Following Baker Mayfield’s trade to the Carolina Panthers, the New Orleans Saints have very little reason to worry.

The Panthers admittedly beat the Saints once last season, when those in Carolina were still high on Sam Darnold, but heading into 2022 the Saints hold the upper hand. This offseason, NOLA boosted its already elite secondary with Tyrann Mathieu and Marcus Maye, both of whom should have a field day against Mayfield’s tendency to overthrow.

Mayfield stands with Darnold as arguably two of the biggest quarterback busts from the 2018 draft, though Mayfield carries a bit more upside after Darnold crash and burned last season.

Both Mayfield and Darnold share similar pass completion percentages and finished with losing records for their respective teams in 2021, and going into a division matchup against the Saints, Mayfield does own the slight advantage of never having playing NOLA before.

A Baker Mayfield-led Carolina Panthers appears tame to the Saints in 2022

We eagerly discussed Mayfield’s possible arrival in Carolina a month ago, and all of the points we made before remain relevant.

Matt Rhule’s tenure in Carolina looks to be nosediving toward self-destruction after Rhule led the Panthers to losing seasons in each of the last four years. The Panthers do have a couple dangerous offensive pieces in Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore, but the quarterback situation keeps getting worse somehow.

At the time of this writing, Carolina will roster as many as four potential starting QBs into 2022: Mayfield, Darnold, rookie Matt Corral, and P.J. Walker. While the Panthers can play their fun little game of musical chairs under center, the Saints have their established starter in Jameis Winston who, despite his flaws, still adds unmatched stability to the Saints’ offense.

The Saints continue to exist in win-now mode while the Panthers are recklessly shoving pieces together in a semi-rebuild — the trade for Mayfield shows that, and at this stage in the offseason the Panthers franchise feels like a massive traffic wreck you somehow can’t stop staring at.

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Mayfield may have found a new home for his Progressive ads, but he doesn’t pose a threat to the Saints’ 2022 season for now. Go on with your day, there’s nothing to look at here.

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