“Wofford is coming,” teased the Carolina Panthers in their “Game of Thrones” vignettes. “Wofford is coming.”
Although the team’s on-field return to its training camp stomping grounds in the lower of the Carolinas is set go down soon, Wofford isn’t the only thing that’s on its way. Apparently, winter is as well, and it has claimed general manager Dave Gettleman as a surprising first victim.
In the most shocking move in the organization’s recent history, Gettleman was relieved of his general manager duties early Monday afternoon. But why? Why now? Why just eight days before training camp?
Well, loyalty may be the name of the game.
According NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, owner Jerry Richardson did not approve of the how Gettleman handled the departure of cornerback Josh Norman last spring. Following an All-Pro performance in helping lead Carolina to a Super Bowl during the 2015 campaign, Norman had his franchise tag unceremoniously rescinded by the front office before he was lost to Washington.
Bill Voth of Panthers.com has also theorized a similar sentiment based on the feelings of the franchise’s shot-caller, stating Gettleman’s recent approach on a new deal with linebacker Thomas Davis has not gone well either. Davis, who will be entering his 13th season with the team, has expressed interest in agreeing to a fresh contract to keep him going past 2017.
Based on these reports, Gettleman’s philosophy on how to run the roster, particularly with the Panthers’ more popular names, hasn’t matched up smoothly for Richardson. This may go back to Norman, this may go back to running back DeAngelo Williams and this may go back to wide receiver Steve Smith.
While a nightmarish showing in 2016 couldn’t have fared too well for Gettleman, his willingness to cut ties with well-known veteran names may have ultimately done him in. Richardson, a man often praised for his loyalty,…