CHARLOTTE—The Baker Mayfield experiment is over.
The Panthers released the veteran quarterback Monday, ending a whirlwind season that didn’t go the way he or they anticipated.
The move seemed to be in the cards once interim coach Steve Wilks moved PJ Walker ahead of him on the depth chart Monday. Sam Darnold will start again this week against the Seahawks.
The Panthers traded a conditional 2024 fifth-rounder to the Browns in July for the rights to the former No. 1 overall pick. That pick could have become a fourth-rounder in 2024 if he’d played 70 percent of the snaps, but he did not.
Nor did he play to the level anyone expected, after he won the competition for the starting job at training camp.
Mayfield started the first five games, but only won one of those (against the Saints in Week 3). His best game was his first one, as he threw for a season-high 235 yards with a touchdown and an interception and an 84.6 passer rating against the Browns (a 26-24 loss).
A high ankle sprain against the 49ers opened the door for Walker to start and play well, and at that point, a return to the field seemed unlikely for Mayfield. But when Walker was injured late in the Week 10 game against the Falcons, Mayfield got another shot.
He started against Baltimore, but threw a couple of late interceptions, and managed just 196 passing yards in the 13-3 loss.
In seven games, he completed 57.8 percent of his passes for 1,313 yards, with six touchdowns and six interceptions, for a 74.4 rating.