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Brian Burns: Sam Darnold is going to be a great leader for the offense

Chris Simms makes the case for Sam Darnold having the best year of his career in 2021 as he's finally surrounded by a talented group of playmakers in Carolina.

The Panthers’ quest to find a franchise quarterback led them to acquire Sam Darnold in the spring.

The No. 3 pick of the 2018 draft, Darnold didn’t have much success with the Jets. But he’s drawn some positive reviews from teammates for his performance during the offseason program with Carolina.

During a Wednesday appearance on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football, defensive end Brian Burns said he was happy when he heard the Panthers had picked up the young QB.

“When I met him, he’s a cool dude, down to earth, nice guy,” Burns said. “Watching him through OTAs, I can tell he has that dog mentality. It takes a little bit — he’s got to get comfortable with the team. He just got there. I can already tell he’s going to be a great addition to the group and a great leader for the offense.”

The Panthers picked up Darnold’s fifth-year option, so his $18.858 million salary is on the books for the 2022 season. But if Darnold doesn’t display enough potential to be the team’s long-term solution at QB, Carolina is likely to be back in the market next offseason.