Panthers owner/founder Jerry Richardson announced Monday that general manager Marty Hurney has been relieved of his duties. Hurney had been the team's GM since 2002.
"This was an extremely difficult decision," Richardson said. "Marty made every effort to bring success to the Panthers and took the team to a Super Bowl and two NFC championship games. Unfortunately, we have not enjoyed the success we hoped for in recent years. I have the greatest respect and admiration for Marty and will always appreciate the way he tirelessly served the organization."
Hurney was Panthers GM when the team went tothe NFC championship game and Super Bowl in 2003 and to the NFC title game in '05. The Panthers also won the NFC South in '08 under his watch.
"I am very fortunate to have been a part of one of the best organizations in the NFL since 1998," Hurney said. "As general manager, I will always regret not helping us win the Super Bowl or having back-to-back winning seasons. I hope this change starts accomplishing the direction to those goals. I understand this decision by Mr. Richardson and will always have an extremely close relationship with him. I consider him the best owner in the NFL. I am responsible for everybody in coaching, the players, the scouts and everybody in football operations. After six weeks, we are 1-5 coming off a 6-10 season."
The way we see it
With the Panthers failing to show improvement this season and their playoff drought going on four years, there was pressure on Richardson to make a bold move. Hurney seemed to have a feeling that he was in danger of losing his job weeks ago, when he acknowledged that he was on the hot seat.
While head coach Ron Rivera and QB Cam Newton have taken a great deal of heat this season, Carolina has not had a winning season since 2008 — a couple seasons before Rivera and Newton arrived in Charlotte.
While we don't believe Hurney's decision to draft Newton, who has taken steps backward this season, had anything to do with his firing, Hurney failed to add much starting-caliber talent in the draft in recent years, and he spent well above market value in some cases to keep homegrown talent like RB DeAngelo Williams and DE Charles Johnson from leaving in free agency.