Pan­thers sur­pris­ingly cut GM Get­tle­man loose

Helped team reach Su­per Bowl 50

The Buffalo News - - CONTINUED FROM THE SPORTS COVER -

The Carolina Pan­thers fired Gen­eral Man­ager Dave Get­tle­man af­ter four sea­sons, the team an­nounced Mon­day.

The 66-year-old Get­tle­man had been GM of the Pan­thers since 2013.

The sur­prise move comes nine days be­fore the Pan­thers open train­ing camp on July 26 at Wof­ford Col­lege in Spar­tan­burg, S.C.

“Af­ter much thought and a long eval­u­a­tion of our foot­ball oper­a­tions, I have de­cided to re­lieve Dave Get­tle­man of his du­ties as gen­eral man­ager,” team owner Jerry Richard­son said in a state­ment. “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.”

A source told the Char­lotte Ob­server that the fir­ing of Get­tle­man caught staff mem­bers, in­clud­ing most of the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s scout­ing per­son­nel still on va­ca­tion, by sur­prise.

The Pan­thers fin­ished last in the NFC South in 2016 with a 6-10 record af­ter mak­ing the play­offs in each of Get­tle­man’s first three sea­sons with the team, cap­ping the 2015 sea­son with an NFC cham­pi­onship be­fore los­ing to the Den­ver Bron­cos in Su­per Bowl 50.

Get­tle­man was a no-non­sense leader and some of his moves were un­pop­u­lar, in­clud­ing part­ing with wide re­ceiver Steve Smith, one of the most pop­u­lar play­ers in fran­chise his­tory, in 2014.

Get­tle­man also re­scinded the fran­chise tag to set free All-Pro cor­ner­back Josh Nor­man last sum­mer without com­pen­sa­tion and pre­vi­ously parted with locker room fa­vorites such as run­ning back DeAn­gelo Wil­liams. The Pan­thers were 40-23-1 un­der Get­tle­man’s lead­er­ship. Be­fore join­ing Carolina, he spent nearly 30 years in NFL scout­ing de­part­ments.

Over­all, Get­tle­man has been a part of seven Su­per Bowl teams, in­clud­ing three win­ners. He was with the Buf­falo Bills in 1990 and 1991, Den­ver in 1997, and the New York Gi­ants in 2000, 2007 and 2011 be­fore adding an­other ap­pear­ance with Carolina in 2015. The Bron­cos and the 2007 and 2011 Gi­ants won Su­per Bowls.

For­mer as­sis­tant gen­eral man­ager Bran­don Beane likely would have been a can­di­date for the open­ing, but he left in May to be­come the Buf­falo Bills’ GM.

Tri­bune News Ser­vice

Dave Get­tle­man’s ouster as gen­eral man­ager of the Carolina Pan­thers caught team staff com­pletely un­aware.

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