Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson announced this morning that general manager Marty Hurney, who joined the club in 2002, was let go (via NFL.com). The move comes a day after a 19-14 loss to the Dallas Cowboys that dropped Carolina's record to 1-5 on the year.
This move was long overdue. Hurney helped get the Panthers to Super Bowl XXXVIII, but his draft record since then is littered with failure.
Of course, the ridiculous contracts given to running backs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart the last two years really paved the way for today's move. In today's NFL, with its liberalized passing rules where the quarterback is coddled and protected like never before, your resources have to be used judiciously toward building up your passing game.
There was clearly a disconnect between the front office and the coaching staff this year. After handing roughly $80 million to Williams and Stewart, offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski has failed to commit to running the ball with either one with any regularity. Against Dallas, the two combined for 12 carries. That, ladies and gentlemen, is not a way to get a return on your investment.
I understand some may find the timing of the move to be a bit curious, but I completely understand wanting to get a new GM in place during the season so he can evaluate who is worth keeping and who needs to go, from the head coach on down. Yes, Ron Rivera is now openly coaching for his job and the deck is stacked against him. Few new general managers keep on coaches they inherit and when they do, it rarely works out.
In the video above, I look at the Panthers' move as well a few other GMs that could be following Hurney to the unemployment line. Let us know in the comments section who you think could be next and what you think of Richardson's decision to let Hurney go midseason.