So far, 2017 has not been a good year for NFL general managers. The Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers parted ways with Ryan Grigson and Trent Baalke respectively in January. One day after the 2017 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills decided to move on from Doug Whaley. The Kansas City Chiefs surprisingly dismissed John Dorsey last month. Now, eight days before training camp, the Carolina Panthers have fired general manager Dave Gettleman.
GM Dave Gettleman has been relieved of his duties. https://t.co/KS8zxjhwOh
Carolina Panthers Fire 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,” owner Jerry Richardson said in a statement. “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.”
Gettleman also had some pretty poor decision-making skills when it came to the draft and free agency. He pretty much wasted the Panthers 2015 first round draft pick on Shaq Thompson. Thompson is a good linebacker but the Panthers had absolutely no need for a linebacker, especially not in the first round.
Signing mediocre-at-best offensive tackle Matt Kalil to a five year, $55 million contract wasn’t the best move either. Christian McCaffrey could be a great running back for the Panthers. With receivers like Julio Jones and Mike Evans in your division, however, a cornerback was a much bigger need for Carolina. Especially after Jones torched the Carolina secondary for 300 yards last season.
What’s Next For The Carolina Panthers
The Panthers are in the middle of some important contract negotiations. Veterans Thomas Davis and Greg Olsen immediately come to mind. Panthers assistant general manager Brandon Beane has already accepted the general manager position from the Buffalo Bills. The option to hire from within is no longer available so Carolina will have to look to bring in a new face.
The question now is can Carolina find someone that will be willing to keep Ron Rivera as the head coach. Is Jerry Richardson willing to bring in a new general manager that will seek a coaching change before the 2017 season? Either way, this isn’t an ideal situation for the Panthers.