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Tag:Jerry Richardson
Posted on: January 4, 2011 1:11 pm
Edited on: January 4, 2011 5:07 pm

Panthers hint at coaching hire, labor talks

Posted by Will Brinson

Jerry Richardson held his first full-media press conference on Tuesday in quite some time, and offered to answer any questions the media had about, well, anything.

He discussed the Panthers coaching search some, but primarily deferred to general manager Marty Hurney when discussing potential candidates. Perhaps the most interesting part of his answers was his reaction to the labor negotiations.

"I'm personally not as optimistic as some are that we are making much progress," Richardson said when asked about the collective bargaining agreement.

Richardson is the at the front of the labor negotiations and, as such, has trimmed payroll to lead by example for other owners. Part of that means leaving a slew of free agents out there, including stars like DeAngelo Williams.

Even the most important pieces of the franchise, however, shouldn't expect to see any new money from Richardson and Hurney any time soon though.

"No," Richardson answered when asked if any new deals would be reached before a new CBA.

However, that doesn't preclude the Panthers from stockpiling via the draft, and Richardson may have dropped a hint as to the Panthers plans with the No. 1 overall pick (although that largely depends on whether Andrew Luck leaves school, one could argue).

"I think it would be somewhat unusual for us to trade down in this particular case," Richardson said when asked if the Panthers would entertain offers for the No. 1 pick.

The way he said it, too, seemed to indicate that he understands what the 'Cats need badly (a quarterback) and what will likely be available with that top spot (Luck, a stud quarterback).

One thing seems certain, though -- Richardson wasn't posturing to try and land Jim Harbaugh, Stanford's head coach and the hottest NFL coaching candidate we've seen in quite some time (who may or may not actually be leaving).

Richardson stated emphatically that he had not had any contact with Harbaugh, even at one point reading from the local paper and mocking "sources" that indicate otherwise. Hurney indicated the team would certainly consider a college coach, but they hired Fox from an assistant coach position and, as Hurney said, "it worked out the last time."

Well, it didn't exactly "work out" -- Fox is gone. And apparently could have been gone a while ago.

"If we look at John Fox's tenure, he did an outstanding job in a number of ways," Richardson said. "But the facts are in nine years we had three winning seasons and we failed to have two winning seasons back-to-back."

Whatever current assistant is hired -- and you can all but guarantee that the Panthers will hire one -- better be confident he can put a streak like that together. Otherwise he probably won't last as long as Fox.

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Posted on: December 31, 2010 4:03 pm
Edited on: December 31, 2010 4:06 pm

Panthers announce John Fox's contract not renewed

Posted by Will Brinson

It's rare when the news of a coach being let go (and/or fired) is "not news," but that's the case with the announcement that the Carolina Panthers will not renew John Fox's contract for 2011.

Fox has been considered the lamest of ducks when it comes to head coaches this season, and the Panthers league-worst 2-13 record obviously didn't help his job security.

"I told John today that I appreciate everything he has done for us over the last nine years, but as happens in this business, it is time for both sides to move in different directions,” said Owner/Founder Jerry Richardson in a statement. "While we haven’t accomplished all of the goals we set as an organization when we signed him in 2002, we have certainly had our share of high moments – the Super Bowl, two NFC Championship games, and a division title in 2008. We wish John and his family the best going forward."

Fox, whose Carolina home has been on the market for months, also issued a statement.

"I appreciate the opportunity Mr. Richardson gave me to be a head coach in the National Football League nine years ago and to be a part of this organization," said Fox. "I have formed many close relationships and I have many great memories. I particularly want to thank the players for their efforts throughout the years. Working with so many great people has been a rewarding experience."

Things appear to be ending amiably, but certain comments Fox made throughout the season indicate there was a growing rift between the front office and the coaching staff.

That being said, Richardson is correct in his statement, and it's probably best for both sides to move along. Additionally, as the leader in labor movement, Richardson clearly feels the need to lead by example and keep his team's budget tightened as the NFL owners prepare for the looming lockout.

Not having a contracted coach clearly helps that cause. The only concern for Panthers fans now is whether or not Richardson will open up his wallet for a big name, or whether he'd prefer to find (ironically enough) an undervalued candidate just like Fox in 2002.

None of the other coaching staff, including coordinators Ron Meeks and Jeff Davidson, will be retained. Fox, through Week 16 of 2010, has compiled a 73-70 regular season record and a 78-73 overall record, including one NFC Championship.

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Posted on: December 27, 2010 1:57 pm

What do coaching changes say about lockout?

Posted by Andy Benoit

All season long we’ve been hearing about how teams may be reluctant to make a head coaching change given the uncertainty of the Collective Bargaining negotiations. Owners don’t like the idea of a new staff coming aboard and possibly having to wait until late summer to start working with players.J. Richardson (US Presswire)

However, heading into Week 17, we’ve already seen four head coaches canned (Wade Phillips in Dallas, Brad Childress in Minnesota, Josh McDaniels in Denver and Mike Singletary in San Francisco).

There is guaranteed to be at least one other head coaching vacancy after the season, as John Fox’s contract in Carolina expires next week. Marvin Lewis’ deal in Cincinnati also runs out. Many believe that Gary Kubiak will be fired in Houston. And there are questions about the futures of Jeff Fisher in Tennessee, Tony Sparano in Miami, Eric Mangini in Cleveland and Tom Coughlin in New York. It’s possible that 10 teams could be in the market for a new head coach after this season.

There are two ways to look at this as it pertains to the labor negotiations – and both are uplifting. One: the owners really don’t believe that a lockout is on the horizon. Though neither the league nor players would admit it, we got a hint of this sentiment a few weeks ago when the owners extended the deadline for the NFLPA to file a collusion claim against them. The other way to look at it is that if there is a lockout and roughly a third of the league’s owners are bringing in a new coaching staff in 2011, that could subtly influence the owners to get a deal done quicker. Two of the owners who could be searching for head coaches – Jerry Jones and Jerry Richardson – are major power brokers.

Of course, it’s possible that we all misread the significance of a coaching change during a lockout to begin with. Perhaps owners are simply willing to take their lumps in 2011. But confusion with your head coaching situation is a significant lump to take. It’s expensive, chaotic and, if everything is shut down anyway, unnecessary. Problem is, all it takes is one team to decide to endure it, and all the others will follow suit. After all, if one team does it, that team would have first run at all the available head coaching candidates.

Something else to keep in mind: if there is a lockout, it won’t come until March. Unless we’re talking about the Raiders, it’s inconceivable that a team would not fill a head coaching vacancy before then. So teams can still implement their new staffs, those new staffs just might not be able to implement their new systems. Still, those limits would all be planned for ahead of time.

The bottom line is, labor peace or labor war, it’s going to be a busy early offseason as usual for the NFL.

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Posted on: December 24, 2010 12:41 am
Edited on: December 24, 2010 1:06 am

Panthers need to move on from Clausen, already

Posted by Will Brinson

As expected, the only interesting thing to come from the Heinz Field on Thursday -- at least from the Panthers perspective -- was whether or not Jimmy Clausen is the team's quarterback of the future. 

The answer, after a 27-3 beatdown in which Carolina posted 119 total yards (the second-lowest total in franchise history),  is a pretty resounding, "No."

And honestly, it's the only area of immediate concern for the Panthers. John Fox is as good as gone and there are plenty of free agents sitting out there that will need to be signed. But more pressing is the need for a quarterback that can actually become a competent passer. Clausen's not that guy, and it seems that everyone outside of Carolina knows it.

The question is whether or not GM Marty Hurney and owner Jerry Richardson can admit the organization made a mistake in the second round last year and move on as well. (Not that Clausen is the only flub in recent history -- there's the 2011 second-rounder the Patriots have which landed the Panthers Armanti Edwards and there's the lost first-rounder in 2010 that landed the Panthers Everette Brown, most notably.)

If they can, Andrew Luck is most likely theirs, barring the entire city of Atlanta collapsing in on itself within the next 10 days; even the backups would probably handle the 'Cats if the Falcons have already clinched homefield advantage.

If the Panthers do secure the top selection in the draft (only a win against Atlanta and Denver losing out would drop them to second), there's still plenty of intrigue though.

Quarterback-needy teams will abound in the top part of the draft, as Cincinnati, Arizona, Buffalo, San Francisco, Washington, Minnesota, and Seattle are all potential top-10 teams that would love to get their paws on a franchise guy like Luck.

That turns the top pick, especially with the Panthers sans a second-rounder, into a potential goldmine.

There's also the labor situation to dissect. If a rookie wage scale is in place (or will be in place), taking a potential franchise guy like Luck with the top pick is much more palpable than it would be if it required the $50 million in guaranteed that Sam Bradford earned in 2010.

The good news for the Panthers is Richardson's intimate knowledge of the labor negotiations (he's one of the leaders in terms of NFL owners negotiating the collective bargaining agreement) mean they'll know as early as anyone what to expect in terms of how a new collective bargaining agreement might alter rookie salaries. (The Panthers top pick, then, also might lend a clue to the general progress of a new CBA at the time, provided there's still a lockout in progress.)

The bad news is that the labor strife might mean no new coaching staff in Charlotte by the time the draft rolls around, which puts the onus for draft picks entirely on Hurney and Co. And if the front office remains stubborn in its support of Clausen -- which is entirely possible -- there's a chance they could miss the franchise quarterback they've never had in Luck.

That seems impossible given the team's abysmal performance on Thursday night. But then again, a two-win season never seemed likely in September, either.

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Posted on: December 14, 2010 12:08 am

Goodell tops SBJ top-50 list

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Sports Business Journal released its annual top-50 most influential list of the movers and shakers in sports today.

Not surprisingly, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is No. 1 on the list. The SBJ explains why:

Put aside the sheriff of the NFL tag, stratospheric TV ratings and his laserlike focus on the in-stadium experience, Roger Goodell has in part the fate of America's most popular game in his hands. The NFL commissioner must hash out a new labor deal to save the 2011 season — in other words, he has the primary influence in what the entire industry is watching most closely.

I wonder, though: if the NFL finds its season canceled next season, will Goodell still be No. 1 next year?

A few other NFLers on the list:

DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFLPA, is No. 5, and this will be a big next six months for him. Can the union outflank the owners, get (most of) what the players want and keep the game going? Or will the owners stick to their principles and make this a tough fight?

Rounding out the top ten is Patriots owner Bob Kraft at No. 9 and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones at No. 10. Just think where Jones would be if he didn’t have the Wade Phillips albatross weighing down his ranking.

And finally, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson is No. 15, but it’s got nothing to do with how well his organization has performed this season. It’s all about the labor fight. 

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Posted on: December 9, 2010 11:51 am

Jerry Richardson's letter to Panther PSL holders

Posted by Andy Benoit

There has been some chatter this week about the letter Panthers owner Jerry Richardson sent to Carolina’s PSL owners. The letter did not mention anything about head coach John Fox. Fox claimed to be unaware of the letter when asked about it by the media. The assumption is that the letter tacitly confirms Fox, in the final year of his contract, will not be back with the club in 2012.

If you’re interested, here is Richardson’s letter (obtained via the Charlotte Observer):

I know how difficult the season has been for you. As the person ultimately responsible for putting a team on the field, I take full responsibility for our shortfalls. It is agonizing that we have not performed at the level we had planned for and expected.

When the season began, we believed there was every opportunity for success. Many of the players were returning from a team that had finished last year very strong. The motivation for this approach was both performance-based and a commitment to the future. Obviously we have fallen short, but our faith and commitment are still the same.

Going forward, our plan of attack is to build through the draft while retaining our core players. We have one of the youngest teams in the League, and a number of those younger players have shown genuine promise in this otherwise disappointing season. We won't give up on them. We also have a solid nucleus of veterans that we will seek to keep intact.

I want all of  you to know that we plan to look at every aspect of our organization. What we do in the future will entirely be geared toward putting the best possible team on the field. I am committed to fielding a winning team, and I'm willing to invest the resources necessary to make it happen.

Allow me to raise another personal issue. Much has been made of my reluctance to address the play of the team in the media. Throughout the history of the franchise, I have rarely done in-season interviews. It's just not my style. In my opinion, comments from ownership during the season are a distraction, and I do not want my comments to interfere in any way with the performance on the field.

 This year is further complicated with the uncertainty regarding Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Let me be clear: A successful CBA is critical in sustaining the competitive balance of the NFL. We're all in this together, and what is good for football is good for the continued success of each and every team. It's important for us to reach an agreement that benefits the fans, players, and teams. I want the players paid fairly, and I want us to play winning and exciting football.

 I understand that in a season like this, words can sound hollow, but, as PSL Owners, you have my commitment to provide you a team that will make you proud. With three NFC championship game appearances, we have come close. I can assure you we will be aggressive in getting there again.

 Thank you for your patience and support in a very challenging time.


 Jerry Richardson

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Posted on: December 8, 2010 5:12 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2010 6:03 pm

Hot Routes 12.8.10: Roethlisberger rocking mask

Posted by Will Brinson

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • Adam Gretz of Steelers Lounge puts the Troy Polamalu sack on Joe Flacco (it was kind of big in the context of Sunday night's game) to the old screenshot/freezeframe test, because someone dared to insult the importance of Polamalu in that particular play.
  • Excellent piece by Michael Lombardi of the NFL Network on the similarities between Josh McDaniels in Denver and Bill Belichick in Cleveland, and how the Broncos (as they've admitted) might not have actually been prepared for "change" they way they appeared to be with McDaniels hiring. Also: sometimes it's good to fail, because you learn lessons.
  • Such a cool story from Jenny Vrentas of the New Jersey Star-Ledger about Keith Fitzhugh and how he'd rather conduct trains than play for the Jets. Can't say I blame him, considering how TERRIBLE THEY ARE DID YOU SEE THEM LOSE TO THE PATS? (/over-reactionary sarcasm)
  • Jerry Richardson wrote a letter to all Carolina Panthers PSL holders taking "full responsibility" for the ugly season in Charlotte, explaining how the organization hopes to rebound, and how the CBA uncertainty affects everyone.
Posted on: October 17, 2010 12:28 pm
Edited on: October 17, 2010 12:47 pm

Report: Panthers' Smith not available on market

Posted by Will Brinson

Logic says that the Carolina Panthers would be willing to trade their high-end veterans in order to start rebuilding. Logic, as usual, is wrong -- the Panthers won't be dealing Steve Smith or DeAngelo Williams before the trade deadline Tuesday.

That's according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, who says that Smith and Williams are off the table and that Jerry Richardson's team will be quiet on the swappin' front through next week.

In fact, the phrase "not ... under any circumstances" got attached to Smith's name -- it's odd that the Panthers would simply hang up on a team calling to ask if he's available. 

After all, Carolina lacks a second-rounder in the coming draft, and it's pretty clear that, even if they get Jeff Otah and Thomas Davis back, they need an injection of talent into their defense.

Of course, the argument that losing Smith would be painful for fans and make the passing game completely irrelevant. As opposed to, you know, "almost entirely irrelevant."

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or