Are you wondering why the Carolina Panthers fired general manager Dave Gettleman just eight days before training camp? Allow two former Panthers to offer their takes.
Shortly after news broke Monday of Gettleman’s surprising firing, former Carolina wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. weighed in with a Twitter bombshell.
Here’s the context behind this tweet: Smith spent 13 NFL seasons with the Panthers from 2001 to 2013, establishing himself as arguably the most important player in franchise history. The legendary wideout likely would have ended his career a Panther, too — had Gettleman not flat-out released him following the 2013 season.
Judging by Smith’s tweet, there’s clearly no love lost between he and Gettleman. But he’s not the only veteran whom the Panthers GM spurned. Ex-Carolina running back DeAngelo Williams also took a shot at Gettleman — in much more blunt terms.
Williams spent nine seasons in Carolina before Gettleman unceremoniously cut him in 2015.
Gettleman also let Pro Bowl cornerback Josh Norman walk in 2016, so his hard line on established veterans apparently is a trend that his former players don’t particularly care for. Of course, Gettleman’s approach helped take the Panthers to the Super Bowl in 2015, but it ultimately may have cost him his job.
UPDATE (2 p.m. ET): Norman also tweeted his opinion of the Gettleman firing, in the form of two emojis:
Thumbnail photo via Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports Images