The Panthers have secured a head start on their effort to find a new General Manager. And while they can’t hire someone from another team until that team’s season has ended, the Panthers can start looking.
Since most owners don’t really know what to look for when hiring a G.M., Panthers owner Jerry Richardson will as many teams do hire a consultant to help them find the right candidates, according to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer.
(Which is much better than what Cowboys owner Jerry Jones did. When Jones bought the team, he made himself the G.M.)
The consultant will, per Person, “examine the football operations” in Charlotte, attend practices, and watch film of the team’s performance.
While consultants are often necessary because the owner doesn’t know whom to hire — and typically is reluctant to ask other owners for help — the reality is that the consultant comes to the table with a list of candidates in his pocket reflecting the consultant’s relationships in the business. Whether it’s friends or family members or persons to whom favor are owed (or from whom future favors are desired), few consultants will have a clean slate and a fully open mind.
And so whoever is hired as consultant will go a long way toward determining the identity of the person hired as G.M., which will go a long way toward determining the identity of the next coach, which will go a long way toward determining whether and to what extent an appropriate commitment will be made to quarterback Cam Newton.
To many, the thought of moving on from Cam Newton is inconceivable. The reality, however, is that every G.M. wants his own coach and every coach wants his own quarterback. Given the haul of draft picks that an unproven Robert Griffin III yielded for the Rams, the best move for the new regime could be to send Newton to a team that thinks it can get Newton to play like he did in 2011, and to use the high draft pick the Panthers are on pace to earn in 2013 on a new quarterback of the future.
For now, the point is that there’s a wide range of possible outcomes. The process will start to be narrowed once the consultant is hired, because the consultant will know even before doing any amount of homework as to the current state of the Panthers the persons the consultant is inclined to recommend for the job.