Baker Mayfield does not plan to go anywhere. The Carolina Panthers quarterback has struggled so far this season, resulting in his benching. Still, he is shooting down any rumors that he wants to pack up and head to another team.
"I want to be here," Mayfield, a free agent next offseason, said Thursday when asked about a trade request.
The question comes after backup Panthers quarterback P.J. Walker led the team to an shocking blowout win over Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With that 21-3 victory, Walker now has the same amount of wins this season as Mayfield, who missed two matchups due to a sprained ankle.
Whether it is as the starter or the backup, Mayfield plans to embrace his role and help the team however he can.
"My role right now is to help us win any way I can. That's practicing, helping out in the QB room, doing scout-team stuff," Mayfield said. "I'm enjoying what I'm doing right now. Like I said, obviously I'd like to be out there, but P.J. played his ass off and deserves to be out there again. … So I'm doing whatever I can to help this team win."
While he says he's happy wherever the team needs him, he did note his first choice would be being on the field with his teammates.
"We all want to play," the 27-year-old said Thursday. "That's the nature of this business, that's the nature of playing sports.
Head coach Matt Rhuleafter Week 5 and defensive pass game coordinator/secondary coach Steve Wilks took over as interim head coach, and will be making the quarterback decisions going forward. According to Wilks, Mayfield, who practiced this week and wasn't on Thursday's injury report, is expected to be ready to be the backup against the Falcons.
Before his injury, Mayfield (84 of 153) threw for 962 yards, four touchdowns, four interceptions along with 40 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown.
Walker (31 of 44) has 297 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in three games this season, including two starts.
The 2-5 Panthers face the 3-4 Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.