The Carolina Panthers owner and founder Jerry Richardson announced today that Dave Gettleman has been terminated as the team's general manager.
In a statement today, Richardson said:
“After much thought and a long evaluation of our football operations, I have decided to relieve Dave Gettleman of his duties as general manager. 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.”
This news comes as a sudden shock to the system in Carolina. Despite a disappointing 2016 season that saw the Panthers go 6-10, Gettleman's tenure otherwise generally considered to be successful.
Gettleman was brought in as the general manager of the Panthers in 2013, and the team made the post season in each season up to 2016. They even took home the NFC Championship in 2015.
Suddenly the Panthers will be looking for a new GM with training camp about to get underway, which doesn't seem like ideal timing. Apparently the leash is pretty short when it comes to failure in Carolina, so whoever is brought in to replace Gettleman should expect to be on exceptionally thin ice.
Gettleman managed to get the Panthers out of some serious salary-cap issues when he first came to Carolina, and has worked very successfully with head coach Ron Rivera to put together one of the most consistent and affordable squads in the league. All of that wasn't enough to keep Gettleman around, pointing to some behind-closed-doors issues that nobody thought Carolina management had.
It's a hard act to follow in Carolina, especially considering the team is now likely in a rush to find a replacement.
Source: Panthers.com · Photo Credit: KEYSTONE PRESS