The Carolina Panthers have fired general manager Marty Hurney, who was in his second stint with the franchise. Hurney had served in the role from 2002-2012 and then again beginning in 2017. This is the second time the Panthers have fired Hurney, after also doing so in 2012.
Panthers owner David Tepper issued the following statement:
"I think sometimes you just need a restart, a refresh. We did it last year on the coaching side. Maybe you could say it should have been done before on the GM side. Maybe it should have been. I'm sure people may say that, or otherwise, on both sides. I think it's just time, on both sides, to do that. It just seems like the right time to move forward."
Carolina is 4-10 this season following a Week 15 loss to the Green Bay Packers. The organization has had several needs in recent years but has been able to fill many of those needs with competent talent like edge rusher Brian Burns, defensive tackle Derrick Brown and linebacker Jeremy Chinn. Hurney, a Maryland native, was also responsible for the draft selections of Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis and Greg Olsen.
It sounds as though the Panthers wanted a new voice to take the next step forward with head coach Matt Rhule, who is serving in his first season. Rhule, along with chief communications officer Steven Drummond, will be involved in the hiring of the next GM. Tepper believes that the coach and general manager should be working in unison towards a common goal.
"You look at successful organizations, and there's a certain alignment between the head coach and the GM. To think that you can do that without some sort of alignment is nuts. So to not have a head coach with some input into that is stupid. I don't want to be stupid, OK?"
Hurney's NFL career began in public relations with Washington in 1988. He was announced as the assistant general manager of the San Diego Chargers in 1990 before joining Carolina as director of football administration in 1999.
The Panthers have two games remaining in their season against Washington and New Orleans.