We actually know just the opposite from both Person and Gantt.
Person was asked this in his Q&A:
Do you think the Fields talk was to bait other teams to trade up? Same with holding off on Darnold's option until after the draft?
Yes and yes. Though Tepper's affinity for Fields was real.
if that's not enough, throw in this from Gantt's article detailing what took place in the war room...
Then the Bengals took LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase in the fifth spot, followed by the Dolphins taking Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle with the sixth pick, and there was a chorus of "yes," from the draft room.
With only one team between them and their turn, the Panthers were this close to having their choice of either Penei Sewell (the top left tackle on their board, at a position they could use) or Jaycee Horn (the top cornerback on their board, at a position they could use). Quarterback Justin Fields being available provided bait if someone wanted to make a move.
By the time the pick was up, that debate was long over.
How about this? Whoever had the final call liked Sam more than Fields. I'm not saying it was the right or wrong decision, but the fact we didn't draft Fields tells us whoever made the final decision wanted to go with Sam.