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.

Former Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith took aim at Gettleman, who forced him out of Carolina, on Twitter following the announcement.

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.

[Panthers.com]

About Kevin Trahan

Kevin mostly covers college football and college basketball, with an emphasis on NCAA issues and other legal issues in sports. He is also an incoming law student. He's written for SB Nation, USA Today, VICE Sports, The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal, among others. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.