Panthers G.M. Marty Hurney recently said that quarterback Jake Delhomme continues to fit in the team’s plans, despite the fact that Delhomme was placed on injured reserve to cap his worst season by far as a starting quarterback.
“This move doesn’t change anything about his future,” Hurney told Charles Chandler of the Charlotte Observer. “We
feel the same about Jake as we did yesterday before we put him on I.R.
We’ve made it clear we have confidence in Jake.”
The bigger question, however, is whether owner Jerry Richardson still has confidence in Hurney and coach John Fox. If they’re both fired, the new regime might not want to bring back Delhomme.
And while he’s entitled to receive $12.675 million in guaranteed money next year, a decision to pay Delhomme not to play for the Panthers isn’t much different than a decision to pay Hurney and Fox to not work for the team, either. If it’s time to move on, those payments are simply a cost of doing business.
For his part, Delhomme wants to stay with the Panthers.
“There is nothing inside of me that says, ‘Let’s try to start over some
other place’ — absolutely not, not even remotely close,” Delhomme told Chandler.
But the decision as to whether he’ll stay in Charlotte will be made by someone else, and there’s still a chance that the someone else won’t be Hurney or Fox.