Late last night, Wednesday the 10th, the Carolina Panthers hired formed senior professional personnel analyst Dave Gettleman to be their new General Manager. The 61 year-old football lifer has spent time as a high school head coach as well as spending time in the front offices of six super bowl runs, with three rings to show for it. Gettleman got his start in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills during their Super Bowl runs in the first years of the 90’s, moved on to the Denver Broncos during John Elway’s 1997 Super Bowl and finally with the New York Giants for the past 13 seasons, where they have won two Super Bowls.
It is a bit of a surprise that Gettleman has gotten his first chance as a General Manager at his age, but many around the league seem to believe that owner Jerry Richardson is using Gettleman as a mentor to their former interim-GM Brandon Beane. He was named interim-GM after Marty Hurney was fired early in the season. While he didn’t do anything amazing to show promise of his future in his brief tenure, he apparently has shown the owner he can be a future hot exec in the NFL. Gettleman has helped form some of the best teams in the past 20 plus year and Richardson is hopeful that his expertise will rub off on Brandon Beane.
Gettleman and Beane will have to work together to make the necessary changes to the Panthers to compete next season on the level that they did at the end of the season. The 2013 Panthers are already $16 million over the hard NFL cap and moves must be made just to be able to field their team next season. The most predictable moves will be to either trade or cut one or both of their high cost running backs signed by Marty Hurney. Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams are both making a lot of money for a running back in the modern NFL, let alone when you’re paying two RBs at that high of a level. No matter what Gettleman decides to do about the RBs though, it will not give him enough room to sign for a WR that is so necessary to the continued development of QB Cam Newton.
Marty Hurney had tried for years and years in the draft’s second round and higher to find a WR to pair with the short but amazing, Steve Smith. He had little to no success. Many of the WRs he drafted had high upsides but little consistency or too much injury history. If the Panthers had any cap room this year they would no doubt be players for impending free agent Dwayne Bowe. Without that flexibility though, they must attempt to find that receiver in the draft. If Gettleman has had anything to do with the recent drafting of WRs in New York, then they will no doubt find a late round receiver that will contribute right away.
The Carolina Panthers now have a duo that have intimate knowledge of the team, Beane, and of how to build a team through the draft, Gettleman. They have a great chance to succeed, but it will take measures far beyond what we’ve seen out of the Panthers in recent years. I hope to see Cam Newton continue to develop with Ron Rivera staying on as head coach. He started slow this season, but came on with a vengeance at the end of the season, let’s see if Gettleman can give Cam Newton the tools necessary to continue to be the face of the franchise, and possibly grow into the face of the modern NFL QB.