Panthers unexpectedly fire GM Dave Gettleman

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers announced Monday that general manager Dave Gettleman has been relieved of his duties. The move comes as a surprise despite the team’s 6-10 finish in 2016, primarily because of the timing.

“After much thought and a long evaluation of our football operations, I have decided to relieve Dave Gettleman of his duties as general manager,” Panthers owner Jerry Richardson said in the team’s release. “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 is the second general manager to be fired this summer, which is unusual. The Kansas City Chiefs also parted ways with former general manager John Dorsey in June.

Brandon Beane, the Panthers’ former assistant general manager, was hired by the Buffalo Bills to fill their GM vacancy in June. Beane would have been a natural choice to take Gettleman’s place, but Carolina will have to go in another direction now.

Danny Morrison, who had served as the Panthers’ president since 2009, also resigned in February.

There has been conflict between Richardson and Gettleman dating back to the team’s decision to rescind Josh Norman’s franchise tag, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

It wasn’t Gettleman’s first controversial move. That was the decision to trade linebacker Jon Beason to the New York Giants back in 2013. The team also cut wide receiver Steve Smith prior to the 2014 season and moved on from running back DeAngelo Williams in 2015.

The team has decisions looming on extensions for tight end Greg Olsen and linebacker Thomas Davis.

Before coming to Carolina, Gettleman spent almost three decades in NFL scouting departments. Gettleman was hired by the Panthers in 2013, and Carolina made the playoffs in each of his first three seasons.

The Panthers begin training camp in eight days.

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