Carolina Panthers hire Marty Hurney as interim GM

Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson wasted no time finding a temporary replacement for fired general manager Dave Gettleman.

The Panthers announced Wednesday they’ve hired Marty Hurney, their former GM, to be the team’s interim general manager. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported earlier that Richardson met with Hurney on Tuesday and that he was expected to be hired as the team’s interim GM.

“I never lost the connection with the organization,” Hurney said in a statement released by the Panthers. “I’ve gained a lot of perspective and have looked at things in different ways. I think I can help this team in a lot of areas. I think I’ve grown. And I feel I’m better prepared to come in this time and do a better job than I did over the 12 years I was general manager last time.”

The plan is to have Hurney run the team in 2017 while using the coming months to vet full-time candidates, per Pelissero. An NFL spokesman confirmed to Rapoport that the Rooney Rule does not apply for selecting an interim GM. If the Panthers were to interview candidates for a full-time position however, the team would have to comply with the Rooney Rule and interview minority candidates.

Hurney joined the Panthers‘ front office in 1998. He was elevated to the position of general manager in 2002, which he held until he was fired in October 2012.

Under Hurney’s previous tenure, the Panthers made the Super Bowl (2004) and two NFC championship games. He drafted the likes of Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis, along with hiring current coach Ron Rivera. He also acquired Greg Olsen via trade. But success dwindled down the stretch.

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A bevy of draft misses (Jimmy Clausen) and huge contracts (DeAngelo Williams, Jon Beason, James Anderson, Charles Johnson) hamstrung the Panthers‘ organization at the end of Hurney’s run.

Gettleman entered and began cleaning up the situation left behind when Hurney was fired. Some of those moves included parting ways with veterans Steve Smith, Williams and Beason, among others.

Hurney takes over his former team days before Panthers training camp opens (July 25) at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He already has one big supporter in Johnson, who Hurney signed to a six-year, $72 million contract in 2011.