The Carolina Panthers have shockingly fired general manager Dave Gettleman, according to team owner Jerry Richardson:
“After much thought and a long evaluation of our football operations, I have decided to relieve 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.”
The Panthers reached the postseason in Gettleman’s first three seasons with the team, including a berth in Super Bowl 50. He was responsible for drafting key contributors like Star Lotuleli, Kawann Short, Kelvin Benjamin, Kony Ealy and Trai Turner but was not responsible for drafting the teams’ cornerstone players, Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly or trading for Gregg Olsen.
But many ripped Gettleman and the Panthers after the way they handled the Josh Norman/franchise tag situation. Gettleman rescinded the tag and allowed the star cornerback to sign with Washington.
The Panthers stumbled last season to a 6-10.
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported that the Norman decision was a factor in Gettleman’s firing:
There had been rumblings that all was not well with Gettleman and owner Jerry Richardson stemming from allowing star CB Josh Norman to walk.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 17, 2017
But Norman wasn’t the only player who had displeasure with Gettleman; former star receiver Steve Smith Sr. and running back DeAngelo Williams also had cross paths with the now former GM.
When news broke of the firing, those former Panthers’ stars turned to Twitter to rip the already fired GM:
— *Joshua R. Norman (@J_No24) July 17, 2017
— Steve Smith Sr (@89SteveSmith) July 17, 2017
DeAngelo Williams, who recently stated he didn’t want to play for the Carolina Panthers:
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! 😎😎👌🏽✊🏽
— DeAngelo Williams (@DeAngeloRB) July 17, 2017
With training camp just over a week away, the Panthers head into the 2017 season with plenty of uncertainty in the front office.