Just a year-and-a-half removed from a Super Bowl berth, the Carolina Panthers announced that they have fired general manager Dave Gettleman.
“After much thought and a long evaluation of our football operations, I have decided to relieve Dave Gettleman of his duties as general manager,” Richardson said. “I want to thank Dave for the role he played in our success over the past four seasons. While the timing of this decision is not ideal, a change is needed.”
No reason for the change was given, though the team’s statement sure is cryptic: “While the timing of this decision is not ideal, a change is needed.”
The timing definitely isn’t ideal, since it’s mid-July, camp opens next week and the season starts in less than two months. It’s unclear what could necessitate a change at this juncture. The Panthers did have a disappointing season last year, but the team has a ton of talent and potential, and it has one of the best quarterbacks in the league in Cam Newton. A lot of that team was put together by Gettleman, who made the team an contender very quickly.
Dave Gettleman took over a team four years removed from a winning season in horrific cap shape and went 40-23-1 with three division titles.
— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) July 17, 2017
Former Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith took aim at Gettleman, who forced him out of Carolina, on Twitter following the announcement.
— Steve Smith Sr (@89SteveSmith) July 17, 2017
This points to some sort of internal power struggle, but it’s tough to say exactly why this happened. We’ll update as more info becomes available.