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Panthers will host Jets in 2021 season opener

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CHARLOTTE — Sam Darnold's going to get a chance to make a debut, and prove a point, and he's not going to have to wait long to do it.

The Panthers' new quarterback will get a chance to face his former team in the season opener, as Carolina will host the Jets at Bank of America Stadium on Sept. 12 at 1 p.m., as announced on CBS This Morning.

That kind of storyline was too easy for the league to pass up, considering the way the two teams changed courses at quarterback this offseason.

The Jets were willing to move on from the 23-year-old Darnold this offseason, replacing the former No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft with Zach Wilson, the No. 2 overall pick in this year's draft.

The Panthers traded three picks to acquire Darnold — a sixth this year and second- and fourth-rounders next season. Through all their draft-weekend deals, the Panthers have already added a future fourth-rounder, in addition to bringing in 11 drafted rookies. The Panthers also picked up Darnold's fifth-year option, adding another season to his rookie contract.

Darnold's three years with the Jets were a roller coaster, with flashes of early promise coming unglued during the Adam Gase years.

He also never had the kind of support there in terms of skill position players that he'll enjoy here. While he knows Robbie Anderson from their time together in New York, there was never a DJ Moore or a Christian McCaffrey to go with him.

The Panthers are banking their hope that Darnold will be able to flourish in an environment with more weapons and less pressure. Wilson, on the other hand, will find out quickly what the pressure is all about.

The full 2021 NFL schedule will be released on NFL Network at 8 p.m. ET tonight during their Schedule Release special. Fans can also see the Panthers full schedule on Panthers.com/schedule and on the team's social media channels.

Single-game tickets go on sale to the general public at 9 p.m. ET tonight at Panthers.com/tickets/single.

Carolina is 4-3 all-time against the Jets, featuring a 3-1 record at home and 1-2 mark on the road.

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