Dave Gettleman has been removed as general manager of the Carolina Panthers, team owner Jerry Richardson announced in a press release.

Gettleman has been the team’s general manager for the past four seasons. Just two years ago he was praised as one of the top general managers in the league following a 15-1 season that resulted in the franchise’s second Super Bowl appearance.

Jerry Richardson made the move “after much thought and a long evaluation of our football operations,” according to his press release.

The timing of this move is odd to say the least. Panthers training camp starts in nine days at Wofford College, and Gettleman has already led the team through free agency and the Draft this offseason. Richardson acknowledged the unusual timing of this decision in his statement.

“While the timing of this decision is not ideal, a change is needed,” Richardson said.

One has to wonder if Gettleman’s ability to please key players was a deciding role in this decision. Last offseason the team failed to retain All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman after negotiations broke down between Gettleman and Norman’s agent. His presence was sorely missed in 2016, as the Panthers pass defense took a big step backwards. This offseason, both linebacker Thomas Davis and tight end Greg Olsen have made it publicly known they would like to renegotiate their contracts. It did not appear that any significant negotiations took place between Gettleman and either player’s agent. Olsen has even floated the idea of a training camp holdout.

Could these be reasons Jerry Richardson decided to move on from Dave Gettleman as the team’s general manager? We will continue to follow this story as more details emerge.

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