The Carolina Panthers made a surprise move on Monday, parting ways with general manager Dave Gettleman. Reportedly, tensions about Josh Norman’s departure could have caused the breakup.
The Carolina Panthers were the Super Bowl runner up in 2015. That seems like a very long time ago now. After seeing a major regression in 2016, many expected that the Panthers would right the ship in the coming season. They have a former MVP at quarterback and an up-and-coming young team, after all. However, their leadership made a change that could have a negative impact on them in the upcoming season.
The Panthers fired Dave Gettleman, their current general manager, on Monday July 17. Gettleman had been the general manager for the last four years, and now he finds himself without a job. Just a week or so before camp, the Panthers will need to find a new decision maker fast.
According to reports, one of the driving reasons behind the firing of Gettleman comes from a current member of the Washington Redskins. Josh Norman. Norman, the Redskins stud cornerback, was a member of the Panthers for the first four years of his career. He was the defensive catalyst for the Super Bowl team, and his aggressiveness gave their team an edge that they desperately needed.
However, Gettleman placed the franchise tag on Norman during the 2016 offseason. They couldn’t agree to a long term deal. But midway through the offseason, Gettleman shocked many and rescinded the tag, making Norman a free agent. That allowed the Redskins to scoop him up quickly on a big contract.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, that decision caused tension in the team’s front office. Notably, between Gettleman and the owner.
Frankly, this should not be too big of a surprise. Letting Norman walk was definitely an error by the Panthers. Though they added some talented, younger corners in the 2016 NFL Draft, they did not have the same cover ability that allowed them to be a playoff team. Norman’s departure played a big role in their regression, and Richardson was rightfully mad about that. Still, the timing of this decision is odd and it could undermine the potential for a successful Panthers season in 2017.
For the Redskins, this has minimal impact. For Norman, he has to feel like he proved himself. In fact, he tweeted this shortly after the news of the firing broke. Gettleman didn’t want to pay him what Norman believed he was worth. Norman proved him wrong by having a strong first season in Washington, and now Gettleman is paying the price for his mistake. It’s an unfortunate situation for the Panthers and Gettleman, but letting Norman go was definitely a mistake.