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Steve Grogan
FFL: Week 1 | NFL: Week 1

Carolina fires general manager Gettleman after 4 seasons

2017-07-17 03:44:03

Players: Steve Smith, DeAngelo Williams, Greg Olsen

In this March 1, 2017, file photo, Carolina Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman speaks during a press conference at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. The Panthers have fired general manager Dave Gettleman less than two weeks before the opening of training camp. Team owner Jerry Richardson said Monday, July 17, 2017, in a statement he made the decision after a long evaluation of the team's football operations. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Just over a week before training camp opens, the Carolina Panthers have no general manager. And no president.

The team that faded from a Super Bowl spot to a losing season in 2016 fired Dave Gettleman on Monday, eight days before the Panthers get down to preseason business. They already were without a team president after Danny Morrison resigned in February.

Owner Jerry Richardson said in a statement he made the decision after a long evaluation of the team's football operations.

''I want to thank Dave for the role he played in our success over the past four seasons,'' Richardson said. ''While the timing of this decision is not ideal, a change is needed.''

The Panthers report to Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, on July 25 and have their first practice the following day.

Gettleman had been Carolina's general manager for four seasons, when the Panthers went 43-26-1. But Carolina was 6-10 last season a year after reaching Super Bowl 50, where it lost to Denver. The Panthers had won the NFC South his first three years at the helm.

The relationship between Richardson and Gettleman began to deteriorate shortly after Carolina's Super Bowl defeat.

Gettleman used the franchise tag on cornerback Josh Norman, but rescinded it a few weeks later and allowed him to become a free agent. Norman signed with Washington. The Panthers entered last season with two rookie starters and the secondary struggled early on, allowing two 500-yard passing games en route to their worst record since 2011.

While Richardson signed off on the move to let Norman walk, he was upset that Gettleman was unable to use the money originally earmarked for Norman to sign other potential free agents, including defensive linemen Kawann Short and Mario Addison and guard Tre Turner before last season. Eventually, Short and Addison re-signed earlier this year, but it cost Richardson more money than originally expected.

Gettleman made other decisions that were unpopular with fans after taking over for Marty Hurney in 2013. Among them: cutting star wideout Steve Smith before the 2014 season and running back DeAngelo Williams in 2015.

Williams, now a free agent after two seasons with Pittsburgh, tweeted he would consider returning to the Panthers ''due to the firing of that snake Dave Gettleman!''

Smith, arguably the franchise's most popular player, never took the move well.

After learning of the news of Gettleman's firing, Smith tweeted ''It's Okay! Dave I know how you feel...''

The final straw in their relationship apparently came when Gettleman, known for his gruff demeanor, wasn't open to extending the contracts of linebacker Thomas Davis and Greg Olsen - players Richardson feels have been ideal representatives of the Panthers on and off the field. Davis is in the final year of his contract and Olsen has two years left on his current deal.

The way Gettleman handled the situation created a divide between the front office and the players. That ultimately led to his being fired.

Richardson did not say who would be responsible for personnel in the interim.

Former assistant general manager Brandon Beane left in May to become Buffalo's general manager, reuniting him with Sean McDermott, who was Carolina's defensive coordinator for six seasons (2011-16).

Gettleman is the second NFL GM fired in less than a month. Kansas City fired John Dorsey on June 23.

Player Notes
Sammie Coates Jul 26 1:00am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Sammie Coates underwent a knee scope last week and will miss the start of training camp, according to a source. He is also a candidate to go on the Physically Unable to Perform list depending on how he heals. He suffered the injury while training in the offseason. Coates also had offseason surgery on his groin. He got off to a promising start in 2016 but then tailed off down the stretch, mainly because of groin and finger injuries. Coates is an intriguing deep threat but may now be fighting an uphill battle for significant playing time now that Martavis Bryant is back in the fold. Rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster will also push Coates for repetitions in the slot position. Leave Coates to the waiver wire in standard leagues and keep progress on his recovery this summer.

Kenneth Dixon Jul 26 12:40am ET

Baltimore Ravens running back Kenneth Dixon will miss all of the 2017 season after the medial meniscus in his knee was repaired Tuesday. He will be out four to five months. It's a tough blow for Baltimore's backfield, as they expected Dixon to be the primary ball carrier on early downs. This news will significantly boost the fantasy values of both Terrance West on early downs and Danny Woodhead in the passing game.

Kenneth Dixon Jul 25 6:33pm ET

Baltimore Ravens RB Kenneth Dixon (knee) will be sidelined for the regular season after undergoing surgery on his medial collateral ligament Tuesday, July 25. The recovery time is expected to be four to five months.

Kenneth Dixon Jul 25 6:31pm ET's Ian Rapoport is reporting Ravens RB Kenneth Dixon will be out for the season because his meniscus surgery required a full repair.

Lucky Whitehead Jul 25 6:03pm ET

Free-agent WR Lucky Whitehead (Cowboys) will not be re-signed by the Dallas Cowboys despite having his shoplifting charge dropped due to mistaken identity, according to executive vice presdient Stephen Jones.

Jordan Reed Jul 25 5:50pm ET

Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins has a combined 121.4 passer rating when he's targeted tight end Jordan Reed on 201 attempts. The duo has combined for 153 catches and 17 touchdowns. Reed is an elite fantasy tight end, but the fact that he has yet to play a full 16-game season is a bit worrisome as your top tight end in the early rounds. However, when on the field and healthy, it's hard to argue that Reed is right up there with Rob Gronkowski as the best overall tight end in the NFL.

Dannell Ellerbe Jul 25 5:13pm ET

New Orleans Saints LB Dannell Ellerbe (foot) is being placed on Reserve/Injured Tuesday, July 25, according to a source. He is expected to be waived when he is healthy.

Koa Misi Jul 25 4:33pm ET

Miami Dolphins LB Koa Misi (neck) was placed on Reserve/Injured Tuesday, July 25.

Alterraun Verner Jul 25 4:33pm ET

Free-agent CB Alterraun Verner (Buccaneers) was signed by the Miami Dolphins Tuesday, July 25.

Kelvin Benjamin Jul 25 4:00pm ET

Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin is "where he needs to be" with his weight. Rivera called Benjamin out this offseason for being out of shape and overweight in his disappointing 2016 season, but the wideout seems to have gotten the message and is primed for a bounce-back campaign as the club's No. 1 receiver in what should be an upgraded offense. Look to nab Benjamin at a value as low-end WR2/high-end WR3.

Stanley Jean-Baptiste Jul 25 3:33pm ET

Free-agent CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste (Chiefs) was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars Tuesday, July 25.

Teez Tabor Jul 25 3:23pm ET

Detroit Lions P Sam Martin (undisclosed), Teez Tabor (hamstring) and Cyrus Kouandjio (undisclosed) were placed on the Non-Football Injury list Tuesday, July 25.

Andrew Hawkins Jul 25 3:10pm ET

New England Patriots wide receiver Andrew Hawkins has informed the team that he is retiring. Hawkins played six years in the NFL and had 33 catches for 324 yards and three touchdowns for Cleveland in 2016. He'll call it quits with 209 career receptions, 2,419 yards and nine scores.

Fantasy Spin: This isn't a surprise because Hawkins was going to have a hard time making the roster.

Donnel Pumphrey Jul 25 3:00pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles rookie running back Donnel Pumphrey has been active in the early days of training camp in padless practices and has been one of Carson Wentz's favorite targets. Pumphrey has been really sharp and has yet to drop a pass and has beaten linebackers out of the backfield. The youngster has been promising in offseason workouts and has decent upside, but the uncertainty of touches behind LeGarrette Blount, Darren Sproles and Wendell Smallwood this year makes him a late-round flier in deeper leagues, at best. Pumphrey is more attractive in dynasty/keeper drafts this fall.

Ryan Grant Jul 25 2:13pm ET

Washington Redskins WR Ryan Grant has yet to lose the confidence of his coaching staff despite making only 39 catches in three seasons in large part because he is the best route-runner on the team this year or last year, including Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson. 'I'm easily Ryan Grant's biggest fan. He's always been our best pure route-runner out of everyone. ? He's been a consummate pro. He says nothing and he works all the time. He's gotten a bad rap for situations that weren't completely his fault. The world will never know that,' receivers coach Mike Hilliard said.

Lucky Whitehead Jul 25 1:13pm ET

Free-agent WR Lucky Whitehead (Cowboys) had the shoplifting charge that led the Dallas Cowboys releasing him Monday, July 24, dropped by Virginia authorities Tuesday, July 25.

Fantasy Spin: This is a positive for Whitehead. He could find work with another team.

Maxx Williams Jul 25 12:30pm ET

Baltimore Ravens tight end Maxx Williams, who had offseason knee surgery, will avoid the Physically Unable to Perform list to begin training camp. That's great news for Williams, but he's still likely behind both Benjamin Watson and Crockett Gillmore in the tight end pecking order. It would take an injury to one of Watson or Gillmore for Williams to be fantasy relevant in 2017.

Kenneth Dixon Jul 25 12:20pm ET

Baltimore Ravens running back Kenneth Dixon suffered a torn meniscus in his knee, according to a source informed of the situation. He'll undergo surgery Tuesday, but the team is hoping it's just a trim of the meniscus and not anything more invasive. It's another big blow to the running back, who was already slated to be suspended for the first four games of the year. Meniscus tears typically come with a six- to eight-week recovery period. He'll now be one to avoid in fantasy drafts, while Danny Woodhead and Terrance West become much more attractive in this backfield.

Fantasy Spin: He is already suspended the first four games of the season, so this injury might come at a good time for him. He likely won't miss any regular season games but his missed practice and camp time could hurt his chances to play a big role once he gets healthy.

Greg Olsen Jul 25 12:20pm ET

Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen showed up to the team facilities Tuesday and indicated that he isn't planning to hold out of training camp and "will play out" his contract. Olsen finished as a top-five fantasy tight end in 2016 and went over 1,000 yards for the third straight year, but his owners will complain about the three touchdowns. Even on the wrong side of 30, Olsen is an elite fantasy tight end that should remain a heavy factor in Carolina's passing game.

Andrew Luck Jul 25 10:03am ET

Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck (shoulder) was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list Tuesday, July 25.