After a 1-5 start, the Panthers have listened to Cam Newton’s cry for change in Carolina and have fired long time GM Marty Hurney, effective Monday morning. Panthers owner Jerry Richardson confirmed that Hurney was no longer the team’s GM but admitted that it wasn’t an easy decision to make letting Hurney go.
“Unfortunately, we have not enjoyed the success we hoped for in recent years,” Richardson said. “I have the greatest respect and admiration for Marty and will always appreciate the way he tirelessly served the organization.”
Hurney was promoted back in 2002 after getting hired within the organization back in 1998. Although he has been with the Panthers through some rough seasons, but he helped orchestrate and put together a team that went to Super Bowl 38, eventually losing to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Hurney was the second official general manager of the Panthers along with Bill Polian who was the franchises first ever GM. Dom Capers and George Seifert served as de facto general managers from 1998 until Hurney’s hiring in 2002.
But the Panthers have only had three playoff appearances during Hurney’s tenure and although he demonstrated an eye for talent by bringing in DeAngelo Williams, Jon Beason and Cam Newton, Hurney could never do anything with those pieces. Even if the failure of the team lands on the coaching staff, Hurney has become a sacrificial lamb in Carolina.
People are immediately going to blame Cam Newton, who went on a quasi-rant after Sunday’s loss to the Cowboys and called for a change of some kind in Carolina. But Hurney doesn’t blame Newton or anyone else on the under-performing Panthers for causing him his job, instead he’s humbled to have worked with the same organization since 1998.
“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.”