On July 17, 2017, the Carolina Panthers released their general manager Dave Gettleman. This comes as a surprise to many fans, especially after Gettleman helped to create the team that made it to Super Bowl 50 just 18 months ago. So why was he fired? Quite frankly, we don’t know the whole reason why yet. The ownership hasn’t released any details as of the moment. But as one of my colleagues pointed out, it seems like many employees have not been seeing eye-to-eye with the ownership. Since the beginning of the year, the president of the company, the assistant general manager, and the defensive coordinator have resigned. And while Gettleman didn’t resign, he has now joined the “I don’t work for the Panthers” party.
As I mentioned earlier, Gettleman wasn’t the only front office personal to no longer be associated with the Panthers. Their president, Danny Morrison, resigned in early February of this year, and while it wasn’t the Panthers fault that he left (he wanted to do his job on a more collegiate level), this was a huge blow for the Carolina organization. They have yet to find another president.
They also lost assistant GM Brandon Beene, who decide that this year, he wants to work with the Buffalo Bills. Steve Wilks also had to become the defensive coordinator after Sean McDermott left to head coach the Buffalo Bills (why does everyone want to go to the Bills?). It seems like no one wants to be with good old Jerry Richardson anymore.
When good enough isn’t good enough
The firing of Gettleman certainly comes at a pretty big shock to most. After all, even with last year’s terrible record (6-10), the Panthers still enjoyed success under the formal GM. Under Gettleman, the Carolina based football team had an overall record of 40-23-1. They also had played in six playoff games, one of those was the Super Bowl. However, Gettleman also let two great players go; Steve Smith in 2014 and Josh Norman last season. Those decisions, plus the 6-10 season, may have led to his downfall.
How do the players feel?
While many fans are in shock, a handful former players are laughing at what is happening to the Panthers organization right now. One of those people is Steve Smith. Smith, who was cut from the team back in 2014 and has been pretty sour about it ever since, jokingly tweeted that “It’s Okay! Dave I know how you feel.”.
Running back (and wrestler) DeAngelo Williams also showed his approval for the Panthers move, tweeting “I want to publicly say @Panthers is off my list of teams I won’t play for due to the firing of that snake Dave Gettleman!” It is safe to say that Gettleman’s success didn’t spell out joy for the players.
We still have a whole month before the NFL season and the Panthers need to use this time to find a new GM. They no longer have time to fill up the other empty spots in the front office, but a GM is one of the most necessary positions in any front office.
So who is the best option? One suggestion is getting Ryan Cowden back. Cowden is the director of player personnel with the Titans. He used to work with the Panthers for 16 seasons, however, and even though he signed with the Titans back in 2016, having a familiar face in Carolina can help the franchise. One thing is for sure, the Carolina Panthers and Dave Gettleman will no longer be the same. We will have to wait and see if this move is a good move from Carolina.
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