One of the criticisms of Dave Gettleman was that he didn’t place much value on loyalty and didn’t re-sign many of the best players in Carolina Panthers history. On interim general manager Marty Hurney’s first day back on the job, it already looks like he’s getting started on correcting that problem.
On Thursday, offensive lineman Trai Turner announced on Twitter he received a new contract from the Panthers that will keep him with the team for four more seasons.
The extension makes Turner one of the highest-paid guards in the NFL with only Kevin Zeitler and Kelechi Osemele averaging more money per year.
Panthers gave Trai Turner a 4-year $45M extension, including $20.5M gtd, per source, averaging $11.25 per year. Next a free agent at 28.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 20, 2017
The talks didn’t start with the arrival of Hurney, though. There were reports of preliminary negotiations back in June between the team and Turner, and it’s hard to imagine Hurney bridged the remaining gap a day after he was hired.
But the timing of the deal does seem noteworthy, especially after speculation that stalled contract negotiations for linebacker Thomas Davis and tight end Greg Olsen may have contributed to the abrupt firing of Gettleman — speculation that both players denied:
Olsen: It's silly to think players have that kind of control (re. speculation of his, Davis contracts factoring into DG firing)— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) July 20, 2017
In Gettleman’s time as general manager, he did reach long-term extensions with core players like Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly and Kawann Short. But Steve Smith, Josh Norman and DeAngelo Williams all left during his tenure and celebrated his firing Monday.
Hurney spent 11 years as general manager of the team before he was fired during the 2012 season. If the goal of his time as the interim GM in 2017 is to settle some of the contract talks that Gettleman couldn’t, it seems like he’s off to a good start.