Cam Newton wants things to change in Carolina, and the Panthers appear to agree.
Owner Jerry Richardson and the team announced Monday morning that they were parting ways with General Manager Marty Hurney, taking a step towards making the organizational changes their young star is looking for.
"This was an extremely difficult decision," said Richardson in a statement. "Marty made every effort to bring success to the Panthers and took the team to a Super Bowl and two NFC championship games. Unfortunately, we have not enjoyed the success we hoped for in recent years. I have the greatest respect and admiration for Marty and will always appreciate the way he tirelessly served the organization."
Hurney was the architect of the team that in 2004 faced the Patriots in the Super Bowl behind Jake Delhomme, Steve Smith and Julius Peppers. However, the Panthers followed their Super Bowl appearence with a 7-9 record and have had just one winning season since — going 12-4 in 2008.
When Delhomme went south and Jimmy Clausen didn't work out, the Panthers fell even farther down the NFL totem poll. They fell so far that they were able to snag Newton with the first overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft, exciting fans that the team was on the up-and-up.
However, things have not worked out that way. After being perhaps the best 6-10 team to ever play in the NFL and Ryan Kalil's Super Bowl letter, the Panthers have stumbled to an NFC-worst 1-5 start prompting Newton to call for drastic change.
"As general manager I will always regret not helping us win the Super Bowl or having back-to-back winning seasons," Hurney said. "I hope this change starts accomplishing the direction to those goals. I understand this decision by Mr. Richardson and will always have an extremely close relationship with him. I consider him the best owner in the NFL. I am responsible for everybody in coaching, the players, the scouts and everybody in football operations."
Current director of football operations Brandon Beane will be handling the team's day-to-day operations until Hurney's replacement is found.