After some speculation that the Vikings could perhaps be fascinated in introducing Baker Mayfield, the envisioned took place: Mayfield bought traded to the Carolina Panthers.
The offer does not have a immediate effects on Minnesota. Carolina is in the conference, but they aren’t in the division and nor do they surface on the timetable. The fact that Carolina plays in the NFC South – a division that will very likely be led by the Buccaneers and then Saints – does give us some purpose to consider recognize. Their playoff route likely will not entail a division championship but a wild card place.
I do not count on Carolina to get to the playoffs, but stranger items have transpired. Just take a appear at their depth chart. By no usually means is Carolina a staff devoid of expertise. In truth, the D.J. Moore-Robbie Anderson-Christian McCaffrey trio is amongst the league’s additional underrated teams. The key, of program, is McCaffrey’s well being. When all a few are on the industry at the moment, defenses have explanation to be involved.
The protection, also, has some expertise up entrance. Brian Burns is a disruptive edge rusher. Derrick Brown and Yetur Gross-Matos are also great players. There is a ton of youth in the secondary – this sort of as C.J. Henderson and Jaycee Horn – and former Vikings protection Xavier Woods is 1 of their safeties. I’m not expecting dominance, but they have a several gamers.
Bringing it all jointly will be a balanced and determined Baker Mayfield (somebody who, if he has a potent 12 months in 2022, could be an solution for the Vikings in the long run). It is effortless to fail to remember that he had a really potent 2020 season. In actuality, he led his Browns into the playoffs, snagging a get above the Steelers ahead of going toe-to-toe with Kansas City. He completed the yr as PFF‘s 8th-very best passer with a 85.7 score. Pressured to guess, I’d say his 2022 efficiency is closer to 2020 than it is 2021.
Baker Mayfield in Carolina is not a significant deal for the Vikings, but it is plausible it could finish up impacting Minnesota in the conclusion. I really don’t have a ton of assurance in their coaching staff, which is the primary explanation why I do not see them as contenders in the NFC. Even so, Mayfield isn’t as terrible as he showed very last season, and the Panthers offense does have legit ability. It is doable the two teams will be competing for the exact same playoff place(s) at the season will get toward the end.