The collective reaction around the National Football League to Monday's announcement from the Carolina Panthers that they have fired General Manager Dave Gentleman can be summed up in a word: Whoa. But Carolina slipped to 6-10 previous year after a tumultuous offseason that saw Gettleman rescind cornerback Josh Norman's franchise tag after negotiations turned sour.
As ProFootballTalk's Darin Gantt points out, the Panthers now are in contract negotiations with fan favorites Greg Olsen and Thomas Davis, so it's possible Gettleman's history of not being sympathetic to established veterans played into his firing. Davis, who has returned from multiple knee constructions to be one of the team's on-field leaders on defense, is entering the final year of his contract.
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Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that Gettleman and Richardson may not have been getting along well, dating back to the Panthers rescinding a franchise tag offer to Josh Norman. "I want to thank Dave for the role he played in our success over the past four seasons".
According to research by ESPN, this is the latest in the offseason that a team has cut ties with a general manager in at least five years. The 66-year-old Gettleman also spent time in the Broncos and New York Giants' scouting departments and was promoted to pro personnel director with the club in 1999. Both were moved into their current positions in May, following Beane's departure.
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