Carolina Panthers GM search: Conflicting reports on Gettleman and Ross

Mario Tama

Two outlets are painting different pictures of who the favorite is for the Panthers' GM job.

The Carolina Panthers have been tight-lipped about who is the favorite to land the general manager job. Dave Gettleman and Marc Ross, both of the New York Giants will be interviewed, with Lake Dawson of the Tennessee Titans, and interim Brandon Beane both garnering some buzz. As the weekend begins there are two conflicting reports on who is the favorite to land the job.

Speaking to WFNZ's 'The Drive' this afternoon, ESPN analyst Chris Mortensen said that Giants' director of college scouting Marc Ross is the favorite, based on what he had been hearing from sources. Meanwhile, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk is saying that Dave Gettleman has the inside track. Jerry Richardson, Danny Morrison, and Ernie Accorsi are all playing this one very close to their chests.

Of the two potential general managers it appears Dave Gettleman makes the most sense. While he may not be the name that conjures the most excitement, he is the most logical. Jerry Richardson is a creature of habit, and his past history has been to look at pro scouting, and player personnel -- rather than an executive with a college scouting background.

Bill Polian and Marty Hurney share one thing -- both were former directors of pro personnel. It's a position that oversees the organization's salary cap situation, helps evaluate in-house talent, as well as free agency. Interim general manager Brandon Beane is the Carolina Panthers' director of football operations, a somewhat similar role, but one with less scouting. Lake Dawson held the pro personnel role for the Tennessee Titans. Dave Gettleman is cut from the same cloth, and when three of the four people rumored to be in the hunt all share the same resume -- that's when an organization's aspirations become clearer.

Interviewing both Gettleman and Ross allow the Carolina Panthers to get a feeling for two strong executives, while also satisfying the NFL's Rooney rule, as Marc Ross is African American. The concern is Gettleman's is age; he's been an NFL executive for 25 years, and is 62-years old. However, if the Panthers were seriously considering making Brandon Beane their permanent GM, it's not outside the realm of possibility that Dave Gettleman could come into the organization, spend 5-7 years establishing the culture, all while providing on-the-job training to Brandon Beane, who is still in his early-mid thirties. A second man to learn from could be an excellent thing for a talented young executive who's spent his career thus far learning from Marty Hurney.

It's conceivable that the man who served as Ernie Accorsi's right hand man in New York, and assisted the development of Jerry Reese as an executive for the Giants could come to Carolina in a similar capacity. While there may be wholesale changes across the front office, it's possible Beane could remain as director of football operations under Gettleman. This is all speculation, but in choosing to select a long-standing NFL veteran instead of a young and aggressive upstart, it sends a message about the team's plans. It could be as soon as next week that we understand what those plans will be.

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