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Scott Fitterer: Don’t want to force QB decision, but can’t just sit to the back

Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett joins Chris Simms to discuss staying at Pitt for an extra year, what he's working on during the Combine and his iconic fake slide.

At this point in 2021, the Panthers didn’t have a long-term answer at quarterback.

Things don’t look any different this year. They traded for Sam Darnold, but he failed to provide the upgrade that the team was looking for at the position. He’s under contract for a guaranteed $18.9 million for the 2022 season and Panthers General Manager Scott Fitterer said Wednesday that there were “a lot of different factors” to his performance, but “does need to take that next step.”

While Darnold’s contract will keep him in the mix, Fitterer made no secret of the team having eyes on other options who can “take hold of that position and own” it for the near future.

“You don’t ever want to force a quarterback decision,” Fitterer said, via the team’s website. “But we’re going to be aggressive about it and look at every single option out there. You can’t just sit to the back and let things happen. we’re going to explore every option, and if it makes sense, we’re going to do it, and we’re going to be aggressive about it.”

Fitterer also said the team is open to having Cam Newton back, but there was nothing about last season’s performance for either player to create much confidence that they’ll be the right answer in Carolina.