The axe fell on the neck of Dave Gettleman, the general manager of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, just a little over a week before the official start of training camp for the 2017 – 2018 NFL season.
The Panthers fell off severely last season, ending with a 6 – 10 record that kept them out of the playoffs the year following a Super Bowl appearance the season prior.
Gettleman was relatively new in the role, having moved in in 2013.
NFL general managers report to team owners, which in the case of the Panthers, is Jerry Richardson. Richardson’s statement, in part, read, “After much thought and a long evaluation of our football operations, I have decided to relieve Dave Gettleman of his duties as general manager.”
Some players who were sent packing from the Panthers’ squad by Gettleman were less than sympathetic. Steve Smith Sr, a wide receiver by trade who was released by Gettleman, took to Twitter, saying, “It’s okay Dave, I know how you feel.” Running back DeAngelo Williams, another player fired by Gettleman, said, “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!”
Objectively, it would have to be said that Gettleman was doing an entirely adequate job. During his tenure, the team won 40 games against 23 losses and one tie. He seemed like the perfect fit as a general manager, as he spent 30 years in scouting roles in the NFL prior to taking the promotion to the Panthers.
One incident that may have contributed to Gettleman’s fall from grace was allowing a star player, cornerback Josh Norman, to walk away from the team and seek market wages for his services, something Gettleman was reluctant to do.
The life expectancy of NFL general managers and head coaches is short, especially for those who take the reins of a decent team, as the Panthers were/are, and fail to produce championships, or at least, deep playoff runs.