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Carolina Panthers officially name Baker Mayfield starting quarterback for Week 1 vs. the Cleveland Browns

On Monday, the Carolina Panthers officially named Baker Mayfield as their starter for Week 1. Mayfield, who was acquired via trade in July, was up against fellow former first-round pick Sam Darnold for the team’s top job. Mayfield will face his old team when Carolina hosts Cleveland to to kick off the season on Sept. 11.

Panthers coach Matt Rhule said in a team statement: “When we started this process, we were looking at three things. Number one, mastery of the offense; number two, situational football excellence; and number three, moving the ball and getting guys involved. That’s been our focus all along. Baker has made a lot of improvement, a lot of growth in all three areas in a short amount of time.”

Rhule said Monday: “All along, we’ve felt like we need to have a really strong quarterback room, and have every quarterback ready to play. The reality of this league is most teams will play multiple quarterbacks. Sam has worked incredibly hard, played really well for us during training camp, and will be ready to go if and when it’s needed.”

Editorial credit: Ron Adar /

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