As the Panthers prepare to play their first game in a long, long time without Marty Hurney serving as General Manager, some within the organization don’t believe that Hurney deserved to be fired.
The thinking, as a league source explained it to PFT, is that Hurney’s hands have been tied by an owner who wanted to spend money after the lockout on players who were part of a 2-14 team in 2010, and that the owner didn’t want to continue to spend significant money on coach John Fox, thereby allowing him to coach as a lame duck in 2010 and then land in Denver, where he has done pretty well so far.
Also, it was owner Jerry Richardson who wanted to use the first overall pick in the 2011 draft on quarterback Cam Newton. Though Newton performed very well as a rookie, Newton’s regression in 2012 has fueled the slide of the franchise.
As we’ve been saying all week, Newton is getting too much blame for the poor performance of the team. The coaching staff has failed to make the adjustments necessary to counter how defenses are stopping Newton, and to in turn nudge his development forward.
But firing the coaching staff would entail paying coaches not to work for the Panthers. Since Hurney didn’t have a contract, there was no buyout. And since there was no buyout, it cost nothing to fire him.
Hurney won’t be making any of these points or otherwise grumbling in any way regarding his termination. He has firmly taken the high road, freely accepting responsibility for the team’s current state. But plenty who are still in the building have a different view about who’s truly to blame.