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New Panthers QB: What Baker Mayfield's current and former teammates are saying

Carolina's new signal caller will face his former team in Week 1

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — On Monday, Baker Mayfield was named starting quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, ending a three-and-a-half-week preseason competition against Sam Darnold.

Up in Cleveland, one former teammate was not surprised.

"I'm happy that he won it, I don't wish any ill upon him," defensive end Myles Garrett said. "I wasn't expecting to be looking at any other quarterback."

Mayfield was shuttled to Charlotte after four seasons in Cleveland, which made him the No. 1 pick in 2018, when the Browns won the bidding for Deshaun Watson.

In Carolina, Mayfield has a fresh start -- and some former Cleveland teammates who landed with the Panthers too.

Wide receiver Rashard Higgins was at times a favorite target of Mayfield's in a Browns uniform.

"That's my boy," Higgins said. "He's loud, he's outgoing. He's confident. I don't like to say cocky, he's confident. He knows what he's doing. He likes to win. That's why he's here. That's why the coaches brought him here. We're all rooting for him."

Guard Austin Corbett was drafted by the Browns in Baker's draft class.

After one full season in Cleveland, he was traded to the Rams where he won a Super Bowl.

Now he and Mayfield have teamed up again, and Corbett said he sees all the same traits from the quarterback.

"His ability to take command and really demand attention when he steps in (to the huddle) every single time, is something that truly is special with him," Corbett said. "Being able to get up there and process and make your call and get everyone on the same page, that's something he demands every time he's in there."

And there's that personality, something Mayfield admits is still there and will come out at some point.

"He's out to prove that he can do everything you say he can't," Corbett said. "That's what makes him special, how much of a competitor he is, how fiery he is and how much he pours into this game."

Carolina will host Cleveland in Week 1, and Mayfield admitted the game will carry special meaning.

But first, the Panthers host Buffalo on Friday night to close the preseason.

Head Coach Matt Rhule expects Mayfield to play at least one quarter in the game.

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