Time is not on Panthers side for Hurney decision


The Panthers are on the clock, and the decision they make is more important than any draft pick. And there’s a chance that every option is the wrong one, for some reason.

All of last season and this offseason, the Panthers were expected to give interim General Manager Marty Hurney his old job back. That was still the case as recently as last week when they interviewed some Rooney Rule compliance — until he was hit with a harassment complaint from his ex-wife which has already been dismissed.

And at a time of heightened sensitivity in their building because of the league’s Jerry Richardson investigation — lead investigator Mary Jo White was scheduled to be there yesterday — they put him on paid leave pending a league investigation.

The problem is, league investigations take a lot of time — more time than the three weeks until the Scouting Combine, or the five weeks until the start of free agency, or the six weeks after that until the 2018 NFL Draft.

So in the short term, the Panthers are likely going to choose who handles those duties while the league does its thing. Sticking with Hurney would likely cause some (more) public relations backlash, but hiring one of their other candidates will cause plenty of football problems. None of the candidates they interviewed last week has any meaningful background with coach Ron Rivera and his staff, the team’s scouts or the player personnel on hand.

And with key linemen on both sides of the ball (Andrew Norwell and Star Lotulelei) about to hit free agency, major needs at wide receiver, running back and the secondary, a team that’s made the playoffs four of the last five years has a lot of work to do this spring. Probably more work than a guy who needs directions to the executive bathroom is going to be able to handle efficiently. Drafts are projects months in the making, and a new G.M. will be cramming for a final without notes.

Oh by the way, the team’s for sale, and the new owner who’s expected to walk through the door in May is watching.

The people involved in the Panthers’ decision-making process have known Hurney for years, and have known that his divorce was a bad one (by the standards in which even the good ones are awful). Their familiarity with him was enough to bring him back for a second stint with the team after he was fired in 2013. If they keep him now, there’s a better chance for stability on the football side for the coming season, which increases the chances for stability elsewhere in the organization under new ownership. If they don’t and the team struggles in front of the new boss, the changes in the building are going to be bigger than one man, one free agent or one draft pick.

And they all know that. Which means your morning’s already off to a better start than theirs.

14 responses to “Time is not on Panthers side for Hurney decision

  1. It’s amazing that they actually win games when they’re as dysfunctional as the Browns.

  2. You are incorrect Jimmy Ray the Third the current Texans assistant has a history with Ron Rivera and North Turner from their time in San Diego I would say if not Marty hurney Jimmy Ray the third would be an ideal candidate if I was doing the hiring I would hire Jimmy Raye

  3. They knew his divorce was bad — and they likely knew why. They ignored that and gave him the interim job anyway. Whole cultural of the organization is harassment and DV is okay as long as we win games.

  4. Since the complaint was dropped and there is currently nothing pending reinstate him. When the criticism comes that they should wait until the league does an investigation just point out that league investigations are guided by politics not facts with a history of surreal outcomes anyhow so they might as well just go ahead and whatever happens there is what happens there. That best positions them to handle the draft and offseason, because if they blow that they are eating a penalty that probably hurts the team worse than whatever the league does. Also, because the league wants a sale to go through they are not going to go against their own self interest by throwing down penalties in the face of a prospective buyer so any investigation is more likely to be surreal leaning that way than the other.

  5. Should have never let Brandon Beane walk out the door. Especially since there was apparently so much tension between ownership and Gettleman at the time, he was fired not long after Beane going to Buffalo. Should have kept him and promoted him, could have saved this whole re-hiring Hurney disaster.

    Even without whatever this legal issue is now, he still shouldn’t have gotten the job. He was fired years ago for managing the Panthers into a cap strapped nightmare bogged down with horrible contracts, and Gettleman came in and cleaned up his mess. Then they fire him (because he’s a jerk? Because Richardson didn’t like him? Still not 100% clear on that) and go running to hand the job back to Richardson’s good ol’ boy Marty, and even not that Richardson is on the outs, the organization is still seemingly bending over backwards to try and hand this job back to him full time.

    I’ve had enough of this guy. Enough of Richardson. Enough of his good ol’ boys. Let’s get some new blood in the building, this team desperately needs it.

  6. It’s not a harrasment complaint. It’s an abuse complaint. The next step up in reprehensible deeds.

    And if he were an athlete, at least in MLB, he would be suspended even if the charges were dropped. He should be fired. Certainly not promoted.

  7. You know, all this time and there’s still nothing about Carolina asking the Eagles to interview Joe Douglas (VP of player personal). What’s up with that? I was resigned to him leaving after the season to be a GM somewhere.

  8. The NFL considers itself judge, jury and executioner. No matter what actual courts of law say, the NFL takes this authority on themselves. If the charges were dismissed, why go on? If no one presses charges, whey should anyone stand for the NFL acting like they are more expert than cops, DA’s and judges? The NFL should let the courts decide and then exact their punishment.

  9. billymac – oh yeah, because the courts and justice system are so flawless, huh? Not like the wife just suddenly “dropped” the charges when she realized it was preventing him from getting a high paying job, therefore affecting how much money he can pay her out to remain silent?

    It’s not just the NFL that enforces their own personal conduct policies. All kinds of businesses and corporations operate on similar standards. If you, as a public figure, are not representing your employers interests to their liking, if you’re skating through the “justice” system on loopholes, technicalities and payoffs, even regardless of a lack of conviction if you are bringing negative attention and not representing the respectable values they try to portray, then they are not obliged to continue the employment.

    The courts are a joke. People with money and influence can weasel their way out of 90% of the legal trouble they get into. The courts are about money and politics more than they’re about justice or right vs wrong.

  10. They may as well hire Jimmy Ray or Lake Dawson. Hurney is not likely to survive the ownership change. The best they could hope for is Hurney getting them through the draft and free agency. Cut ties….he was fired for a reason the first time.

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