Yesterday, I summarized Dave Gettleman’s tenure in Carolina. Today, we add some context to some of his methods that may have lead to this, along with some details that have started sprouting up since the announcement. First, let's take a deeper dive into his methods.
So we won’t get to see what Gettleman’s work will do in 2017, since all the moves and picks have been made. But here’s what we’ve gathered from his current body of work.
- Whether you’re a long time franchise staple or an undrafted free agent camp body, Gettleman’s logic was always the same. Either get on board, take what he gives you, or get out. There is no grey area, and he made no time for those asking for much more than he was willing to give (Josh Norman is a great example). Each position had it’s own assigned value in his mind. That amount did change at times (looking at Kawann Short’s deal), but it’s clear that he stuck to a maximum value assigned value.
- Dave was never about putting the team into situations that could hamstring it’s financial future over veteran players. Even looking at the 3-4 year deals he gave out this season, most of them are structured where ties could VERY EASILY be severed after two years with little cap blow back on the team.
- Dave would rather go dumpster diving than overspend in free agency. He trusted his drafting process, enough that he often threw out additional picks to get his guys. How that worked out hasn’t been entirely great in past drafts (Bene Benwikere is gone after being a starter, Devin Funchess hasn’t made much of an impact yet, Daryl Williams is slated to be a starter but could very easily be upended). The thing about the NFL Draft is that yes, you don’t make every pick intending for that guy to stick around forever, but there’s plenty of big time guys who went in the later rounds. One stands to wonder who the team passed on by churning out those picks.
- Even the extensions Gettleman DID give were often team friendly. Charles Johnson could have very easily gotten more money to play elsewhere. Jonathan Stewart has restructured his deal countless times. Thomas Davis took WAY less money than he deserved as part of a top three linebacker group. It’s not that hard for me to understand the disdain some departed veterans have got the guy.
- Looking back at 2014 and 2016, it is darn near inexcusable to field what the Panthers did at certain positions. Byron Bell playing left tackle, Nate Chandler at right (I shudder just thinking about it), almost got Cam Newton killed in 2014 on top of a dearth of offensive talent. Fielding two non first round pick rookies as your starting two corners on a defense that fielded an elite level front seven and a top tier defensive coordinator. Hindsight is 20/20, but the unbiased observers at the time were calling the bluffs, and they were right.
Now, here’s a few things that came out today from players and around the league.
Thomas Davis told me he'd already begun contract talks with Panthers & felt everything was going well. More info below-Full interview coming pic.twitter.com/5PWbd8RTiV— Kelsey Riggs (@KelseyRiggsWCNC) July 18, 2017
Jerry Richardson appears to be choosing family > football by firing Gettleman. Didn't work out very well last time. https://t.co/izCh2FYupe— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) July 18, 2017
#Panthers owner Jerry Richardson and Marty Hurney meeting today, league source said. If all goes well, he's expected to be named interim GM.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 18, 2017
Ultimately, we will all be left wondering why this happened, and the timing of it, for a long time. But it seems pretty clear this is a lot more complex than some sour grapes or ongoing contract negotiations. And there’s a strong possibility that Hurney will be back.