Former USC football legend Sam Darnold receives tough career news

Evan Desai
Sam Darnold, USC Football, USC Trojans
Sam Darnold, USC Football, USC Trojans / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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All-time great USC Football QB Sam Darnold will officially be the backup quarterback for the Carolina Panthers. This is the first time in his soon-to-be five-year career where he will be a backup quarterback. He outplayed the player named to be the starter, Baker Mayfield, in the preseason yet didn't get the job.

Darnold was two for three with a beautiful touchdown pass in the preseason game that the two played in. Mayfield misfired on three of seven passes, and never led the offense to a touchdown-scoring drive.

Darnold has also posted an above .500 record the same amount of times Mayfield has in his career, and that's with the Jets for three seasons and the Panthers for last season. He had Todd Bowles coaching him, who was a massive disappointment with the Jets.

Then he had Adam Gase, who was the consensus worst head coach in the NFL, and then he had a coach already on the hot seat in Matt Rhule with an Offensive Coordinator in Joe Brady who was so bad that he was fired mid-season in Carolina. Darnold also had a bottom four offensive line in front of him for every single season he's been in the league.

He's had the worst supporting cast around him in these last four years than any QB playing in these last four years has had. Heck, it wasn't too long ago when he had to throw to Braxton Berrios and Chris Hogan as his top options.

Mayfield had the Browns the entire time, who gave him an elite offense line, two elite RBs in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, a Coach of the Year in Kevin Stefanski, an elite WR in Odell Beckham Jr., another very good receiver in Jarvis Landry, two very talented tight ends in Austin Hooper and David Njoku, and talent all up and down the defensive side of the ball.

Sam Darnold hasn't had the chance to be successful since he left USC football.

And Mayfield has had the opposite situation that ex-USC Football QB Sam Darnold has had in the league, as just mentioned. He has been disappointing despite having ALL the resources he's needed to succeed. Darnold has had nothing.

When he had a competent supporting cast around him in the league, he was a very good QB. Look at Darnold last year before Christian McCaffrey went down to injury and out for the year. He threw for 888 yards and scored six total touchdowns while only throwing one interception.

Once McCaffrey went down, however, he was forced to run the offense himself behind arguably the worst offensive line in football. Who was going to have success in that situation? Everyone swore it would be Cam Newton, but Newton came in and didn't win a single game when the Panthers ran with him as the starting quarterback during the games that Darnold was injured for.

Even a former NFL MVP was significantly worse than Darnold and put up significantly worse numbers than Darnold to prove it. Darnold deserves another chance to start in this league, but this could end up actually being a blessing in disguise for him.

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Darnold revealed in the offseason that "I know there's a team, if something happens, that would want me." If he's right, that may finally be his opportunity to play with a competent supporting cast and/or coaching staff and finally give him the chance to succeed.

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