Hurney’s firing a reflection of Richardson’s mortality


Panthers general manager Marty Hurney was fired Monday.

But the clock on his tenure really started ticking on Feb. 1, 2009, the day Panthers owner Jerry Richardson underwent heart transplant surgery.

Since then, Richardson has been a man aware of his mortality, and time to build was no longer the first priority for the 76-year-old owner.

How the Panthers are closer to winning now than they were last night is a mystery, because many of the moves Hurney made in recent years were strictly of the owner’s bidding.

From taking a hard line on franchised defensive end Julius Peppers to paying loyalty contracts to players such as Jake Delhomme to keep the 12-4 2008 division title team together, many of the moves Hurney was criticized most heavily for had Richardson’s thumbprints all over them. Likewise using the uncapped year in 2010 to clear the books for a post-lockout splurge on fan favorites such as DeAngelo Williams were moves dictated from upstairs.

The former sportswriter turned salary cap manager handled those moves, and built as best he could after the Panthers once-happy marriage with coach John Fox fell apart in 2009.

The current mess is as much about the coaching staff he hired not using the players he acquired properly, but Hurney was an easy fall guy for a team which had won nine games since the start of the 2009 season.

That overshadows a stable base of talent he’s assembled, including quarterback Cam Newton.

How they proceed at this point is a mystery, though it’s reasonable to assume team president Danny Morrison (the man Richardson hired to run the business when he fired his sons) will have a strong hand in the process.

Either way, the next football man will be on a short leash, because the man who brought football to the Carolinas believes he’s on borrowed time.

31 responses to “Hurney’s firing a reflection of Richardson’s mortality

  1. Either way, the next football man will be on a short leash, because the man who brought football to the Carolinas believes he’s on borrowed time.


    Makes me wonder if he is one of the people who put a bug in Roger’s ear to punish the best team in his division back to the Stone Age with no evidence.

    Noticed how many times those “ledgers” and Pat Yasinkas “leaks” involved games against Carolina?

    Don’t worry. It’s a rhetorical question.

  2. “The former sportswriter ” — “How the Panthers are closer to winning now than they were last night is a mystery, because many of the moves Hurney made in recent years were strictly of the owner’s bidding.”
    —Bias much? Curse one sports writer, and you have to deal with them all.

  3. 2 RBs making top money, yet they each get about 3 or 4 carries a game. As if that’s not ridiculous enough, you go out and sign another RB in free agency to help with goaline/short yardage, when you have an absolute beast in Cam Newton for those situations.

  4. More Saints fan nonsense…???

    Back to the story, yeah Hurney is the fall guy, but they are not going anywhere with Newton and Rivera. Newton has promise, but Rivera is in over his head.

    Doing JP like that was the last straw.

  5. The next GM will need to bring in a nanny to coddle Cam Newton when he pouts. The QB has some growing up to do as the world is not at his feet as he expects. This is the real world where you have to step up and quit whining.

  6. Hurney’s draft record alone should have gotten him fired years ago. He’s been atrocious, missed more than he’s hit on picks outsde of the 1st round and has often made bone headed, short sighted trades of draft picks (see Everertte Brown.)

    I get it in theory that the buck stops with Mr. Richardson – but it was pretty clear that Peppers wanted to leave (which I suspect had more to do with the head coach at the time – Fox – than anything else) and no amount of revisionist history will change that. I as a fan appreciate the loyalty the Richardson shows to productive, quality, high character players. After the nightmares/tragedies/failures of Rae Carruth, Fred Lane, Jason Peters, etc. – it’s a little hard for to throw rocks at the Williams and Stewart contracts.

    It’s about time for some new blood and fresh eyes in the GM’s office – I would love to see them find a young hungry guy like Grigson in Indy to inject some new thinking and finding some real quality in the later rounds of the draft.

  7. Really? You’re going to pin Carolina’s roster woes on the owner? Did you miss the part where the front office failed to draft legitimate receivers? Where Hurney traded away a first round pick for Everette Brown? Where the Panthers traded a future second to grab Armani Edwards? The Dwayne Jarrett bust, the Terrell McClain bust, the Jeff Otah bust, the Jimmy Clausen bust? Hurney is a terrible GM and he perennially had bad drafts.

    You want to talk about a front office going out and overpaying to keep the few quality players they did have but you need to understand the free agency moves were not why Carolina isn’t winning; it’s the fact that the Panthers have been unable to build through the draft. Look at their starting defense for crying out loud. CAPTAIN MUNNERLYN is still a starting cornerback. This falls ENTIRELY on Hurney for the lack of talent they have on the field. Both John Fox and Ron Rivera were severely handicapped by this awful drafting.

  8. “You guys should go hard after Jeff Ireland or just hire Andy Reid to run the entire organization”

    Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles fans

  9. Oh am I glad we didn’t trade up to get Fig Newton, and also glad Barkely and Landry Jones decided to stay in school because RGIII is looking like gold compared to the other options…

  10. That TEAM SUCKS! For all the Cam haters and he pouts to much enthusiast; see Peyton Manning, Tom Brady Etc on the sideline when someone run the wrong route or they lose. Same Damn thing except they don’t use the towel. Last time I check Peyton Manning, was horrible his first 2-3 yrs and so was his brother. Until, they built a team around them and got them the pieces they need. The Defense in Carolina is terrible, along with the O-line,The WR’s and RB’s! The only thing this team has is The QB. It’s a reason this team had the #1 pick in the draft last year. It’s because they suck. And the only thing they did was bring in a Stud QB and forgot everything else. That team STINKS, and one player cant change that. You can’t put Cologne on Dirt and expect it to smell good!

  11. unbelievable, newton will single handedly bring an organization down piece by piece because he doesn’t get his way. how about instead of pouting and blaming everyone else you stop turning the ball over and play like a real qb should. they are going to tear down this team just for cry baby newton only for him to screw them in the end and leave when he is a free agent. hey panthers, the kid is just not that good.

    remember at the beginning of the season people had the Panthers in the playoffs and said Miami would be the worst team in football because they have the least talent, a rookie qb who everyone said would not be that good is out playing your star qb who every one deemed “the one” with less talent around him. what a joke.

  12. Was at the game in the 2nd row right behind the bench. No fire in the team on or off the field. Cam would sit at one end of the bench and the O-line at the other. They are just going through the motions it, both player and coaches. Hurney made an appearance near the end, but that was about it as he didn’t seem to have much to say either….Unfortunately I learned a lot about “my team” yesterday.

  13. Richardson wanted cam!! He got cam!! Cam sucks!! So do the panthers!! Whos fault? Only the owners!! Just like bud adams did a few years back going against his coaches and management taking vince “im out the league” young #3 richardson did the same with cam and instead of both owners just saying i made a mistake they fire someone for doing what they were told!! How despicable! Maybe its time the nfl makes a rule once your a looney 70 plus yr old owner you need to sell or retire!!
    Adams,richardson,jones etc etc

  14. All of Richardson’s business’ Denny’s/Hardees/Panthers have the same lack of quality and mismanagement!

  15. “unbelievable, newton will single handedly bring an organization down piece by piece because he doesn’t get his way.”

    Lmfao what an idiot, I didn’t know Newton could fire Marty H. Hurney overstayed his welcome, JR was the idiot to keep him around when he should have been let go with Fox after 2010.

    “how about instead of pouting and blaming everyone else you stop turning the ball over and play like a real qb should.”

    Blaming everyone else? He clearly stated how he needs to improve etc. At least his press conference has gotten better over the past 2-3 weeks unlike the Giants game.

  16. hey *ebrowneagle*, this team’s sucks? you mean this same team who was top 10 in offense last year and now they are one of the worst with same players and same oc? you mean that awesome colts team Peyton had and consistently took to the playoffs and won a superbowl with and when he left they won 2 games! ok, keep making excuses for cam, that’s all he has anyway, just excuses.

  17. Hey Ron Rivera, don’t buy any green bananas so to speak. My team can’t draft WRs either, and have been spotty with drafting DBs but they still win. A lot of that is coaching IMO.

    I’ve always thought it was a little weird when a GM gets the axe midseason. The only thing I can think of is that the owner has someone else in mind and needs to get a jump on him.

  18. *joshsmith* obviously doesn’t know anything about sports. if you put money in a player and deem him the franchise and he is not happy then you do what you can to keep him on the team, even if at others expense. cam said changes need to happen and voila!. see Dwight Howard. idiot

  19. We Falcon fans used to make fun of the Panties, but it isn’t fun anymore since the whole league started doing it, too.

  20. Richardson is one of the worst owners in football. He’s the northern version of Stephen Ross. Who else would hire a former sports writer to run their team?

    It will be interesting to see if he will even hire a strong football man to fix that mess. The roster is poorly built (two RBs, one being nearly 30 years old making top dollar, seriously), never getting a complement for Steve Smith in the passing game, and the defense is peppered with average to slightly above average players when the one beast you had (Peppers) is now making the Bear defensive line arguably the best in football.

    Considering the reports of how he condescendingly spoke to respected players like Manning and Brees during the CBA negotiations, I wonder where such a poor franchise makeup stems from? I’m going to guess it begins and ends with Jerry Richardson.

  21. As a Buc fan it’s nice to know that we can count on the Panthers to make us look just a little better than we are.

    Toes on the line; Field Goal Shift; Victory Slam; Roughing the Center and False Start on the Defense.

    We went from Cover 2 Defense to Cover Nobody Defense. Monty would be proud.

    When all else fails, just run it up the middle.

    Oh yeah, we’re good.

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