The Carolina Panthers announced they fired general manager Marty Hurney on Monday, and while the team will eventually hire a successor to Hurney, that individual may not have the same title.
"I'm trying to figure out what should be the right structure for an organization today," owner David Tepper told the team’s website. "Just because there's been the same structure in the NFL forever in a lot of places doesn't mean it should be the same structure now."
Tepper was clear that first-year coach Matt Rhule will have a role in the search, a development that is emblematic of the collaboration Tepper and Rhule both emphasized at the time of the coach’s hiring.
"You look at successful organizations, and there's a certain alignment between the head coach and the GM," Tepper said. "To think that you can do that without some sort of alignment is nuts. So to not have a head coach with some input into that is stupid. I don't want to be stupid, OK?"
Hurney was under contract through June 2021. But Tepper saw the Panthers’ 4-10 record as a sign change was needed.
"This team could easily have another four wins," Tepper said. "The eight games that we had the ball last to win or tie — seven to win, one to tie — if you win four of those games, you're in a totally different position right now with this young team. So looking at next year, I'm very hopeful where we will be and what we will do."
Hurney joined the Panthers in 1998 and first became GM in 2002. He held the job until the 2012 season and returned on an interim basis in 2017 before regaining the full-time job in February 2018.
Since 2018, Carolina is 16-30.
"I think sometimes you just need a restart, a refresh," Tepper said. "We did it last year on the coaching side. Maybe you could say it should have been done before on the GM side. Maybe it should have been."
Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.
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