Marty Hurney’s interim G.M. gig will last through draft and free agency

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Even though his title is interim General Manager, the 2018 draft picks and salary cap room Marty Hurney acquired for the Panthers yesterday weren’t for someone else to use.

PFT has learned that per the teams of Hurney’s deal to return to the Panthers this year, he will remain on the job through next June, at least.

That means the extra third- and seventh-rounders acquired from Bufalo in exchange for Kelvin Benjamin will be under his purview, along with the rest of their picks and the 2018 free agency season and the extra $8.5 million in cap room that came in the deal.

While Hurney wouldn’t comment on the terms of his contract and the team declined comment as to his tenure, he has spent his recent weekends on college campuses, which suggests he’s preparing for next year’s draft and not lining up interviews with potential replacements.

When he was hired in July to replace the fired Dave Gettleman, it was to get the team through the year, and part of his job description was to help the team identify a permanent G.M. for 2018. But while the perception was that he’d be looking for someone to run the next draft, that’s not the way the deal was written.

Of course, if this recent trade breaks down and the Panthers crater, owner Jerry Richardson could always decide to fire him and everybody else in the building. But the way things stand now, Hurney has control of the team’s personnel for at least another eight months, if not longer.

Hurney was the team’s G.M. from 2002 through October of 2012, when he was fired after a 1-5 start. The team went to a Super Bowl and two NFC Championship Games during that span, and he helped put many of the key players in place from their last Super Bowl team, including quarterback Cam Newton, tight end Greg Olsen, linebacker Thomas Davis and many others.