Panthers GM Firing Is A Reminder Of The Iron Fist

July 18th, 2017

Just when you forget for a moment that the NFL is a ruthless business, a reality slap of two hits and order is restored.

Panthers fans were served a taste of that yesterday when their successful general manager, Dave Gettleman, was fired after 4 1/2 years a Super Bowl appearance and three NFC South titles.

It seems Gettleman wanted to take a firm contract line on veteran linebacker Thomas Davis (34) and 32-year-old tight end Greg Olsen. Both are seeking extensions. Allegedly, ownership wants to take care of those two franchise icons and told Gettleman to hit the road with training camp a week away.

(Per Joe’s research, there is no truth to the rumor Gettleman was fired for overpaying Russell Shepard in free agency.)

Gettleman, 66, a former high school football coach who worked his way up the NFL scouting ranks, is highly respected around the league. John Dorsey, the Chiefs GM who was fired last week but hired the same year as Gettleman (2013), had a strong run and was dumped by Kansas City last month.

This all makes Joe a little uneasy. Today’s five-egg omelette and sausage fiesta isn’t going too smoothly.

To the best of Joe’s knowledge, Bucs general manager Jason Licht, a man revered by Bucs fans and the architect of the grand slam draft of 2015, is in the final year of his contract and has no extension.

Owners can be fickle. Team Glazer has certainly been unpredictable over the past nine years.

What’s the delay with Licht? Does Team Glazer want to see one more season?

Back in March at the NFL Owners Meetings in Phoenix, Joe asked Joel Glazer about the makeup of the roster. Of course, the GM is wholly responsible for that. Here was the exchange: What do you like about the makeup of this team? Whatever that word “makeup” means. What do you like about this team, the personality of this roster?

Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer: I think we got a great group of guys. We have a nice mix of personality, leadership, good character, hard work. But most off all, you sense the want to win amongst our players. You know it when you see it. When you’ve been around successful teams, you know when you look in the eyes, and you get to know the players and personalities, you know if this group, or this mixture, if these people have that want to win and the characteristics that it takes to take it to the next level and compete for a championship. When I go into the locker room and I look around, I see the ghosts of the past, but now I see what we have today: the formation of a group that has the capabilities to win Super Bowls.

That sure sounds like Licht is at one with his owners. But you just never know when the iron fist will come crashing down and deliver major change.

22 Responses to “Panthers GM Firing Is A Reminder Of The Iron Fist”

  1. DB55 Says:

    Per Joe’s research, there is no truth to the rumor Gettleman was fired for overpaying Russell Shepard in free agency.)
    Luv the dig at us Shep fans joe and to that I counter with KY HANDS as it’s one of the few mistake/tragedies ever written on this here corner …..

    As for Licht, his Oline will be his champion or downfall. I was watching saints v Bucs last night (1st game) we won but Jameis is under constant assault. Jailbreak blitzes and 3 guys are hitting JW in less than 3 sec. we can’t have that!

    Therefore imo if we win less than 10 or god forbid this oline gets JW hurt I think we see the Glaziers fire Licht at the end of the season. And build a wall like the one in Dallas. Just like the Glaziers to hire the wrong guy. #Robinson

  2. Lord Cornelius Says:

    I hope we extend him soon even if the O-line sucks this year. You can’t fix an entire roster in 3 years but he’s done about everything possible and met need and value most years. Even in regards to the O-line – he has spent 6 draft picks on that line. It’s not like he’s ignored it.

    I think we are going to be happy with LT Smith. I think we are going to be really happy with C Ali Marpet. I think we are fine at G between Sweezy/Pamphile/Evan Smith/Caleb Benecoch. That’s 4 capable starters for 2 positions.

    My only real worry is RT and OT depth. Sadly this FA class and draft class was one of the worst OT classes in history. To reach on an OT would be a mistake when there were better value signings out there and better draft value out there.

    But think about this – things could go right enough this year with the talent we have to the point that the Bucs literally only have the RT spot as an obvious upgrade needed. That means the GM is kicking 4ss.

    I think we’ll be looking at OT as an obvious need; and then DT/DE/CB based on the age of the roster. Maybe RB if this group all sh1ts the bed but even then I think that’s something we could add in FA or with a late pick. I think we are set at interior line, QB, WR, TE, S, & LB for a few years now which is pretty awesome.

  3. tnew Says:

    If Robinson is the man over Licht, you MUST also believe that drafting Jackson over Howard was a smart move. All I know is that most of my Titan’s buddies are still sick over that move. I still can’t believe he passed on Howard.

  4. DB55 Says:

    I thought the Titans had a good TE. I thought he made the pro-bowl last yr. I could be wrong. Nope I’m not, he’s made pro-bowl and top 100 players. And Jace Amaro who showed some flashes while on the Jets. Robinson prob felt he was set at TE so he drafted a burner. Nothing wrong with that.

    Ali has a tendency of missing stunts. Sweezy has a back issue even the best athletes in the world have trouble recovering from back issues. And RT is just piss poor.

  5. 813bucboi Says:

    @db55…I agree…give him one more year….whats the rush?….let this season play out….if we win less than 10games changes need to be made be im not sure firing licht would be smart….he has drafted well….he has acquired some impactful FA’s….if we miss the playoffs this year not due to injuries, then the problem is coaching…..this roster has the talent and depth to make the playoffs…..IMO, if we don’t make the playoffs, its not the fault of licht….GO BUCS!!!

  6. Jason Says:


    I was surprised Howard dropped in the draft, but not that the Titans didn’t select him. They need a dynamic presence in the defensive backfield, so Jackson fits, and they already have an athletic blocker/receiver at TE in Walker. Yes Howard would have fit very well in their offense, but I never saw that as being a major mistake on Robinson’s part.
    Food for thought though, and will be interesting to chart Jackson’s and Howard’s development the next few years!

  7. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    Licht brought us from cellar dwellers to potential Superbowl Contenders. Anyone who criticizes him should always be reminded of the mess he inherited and how well he’s cleaned it up.

  8. Lord Cornelius Says:

    The Titans passing on Howard was moronic in my opinion but they did it because they added a weapon at pick 5 and were picking for need instead of value.

    Adoree Jackson may turn out to be a great pick but he was not better value than Howard. Howard was a potential top 5 pick. Jackson was at best a mid 1st rounder and some had him as a 2nd rounder. Not a single person had Howard as a R2 talent.

    They could have taken Howard and had the best 12 personnel group in the NFL which would fit exactly to their ground n pound strength as a team. They could run / pass out of that formation every play and it’d be extremely hard to defend. A lot of people even thought Howard would have been a great pick for them at 5 overall; and most had Howard ranked over Corey Davis or in that same range.

  9. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Also – Delanie Walker will be 33 years old this season and Jace AMaro is just a pass catching TE that can’t block. He has 3 catches in the last 2 seasons

  10. Pickgrin Says:

    Jason Licht is doing a really, really good job of building this team into a competitor/winner.

    If you compare the level of young talent on this roster to what it was the day Licht stepped into the building 3 1/2 years ago – the contrast is glaring.

    Mike Evans, Sims, Pamphile, Winston, D. Smith, Marpet, Kwon, Hargreaves, Spence, Ryan Smith, Benenoch, Bond, Howard, Justin Evans, Godwin, Beckwith, McNichols, Stevie T.

    add UDFA finds like Brate, Humphries, Hey Jude, Elliot

    Talk about your hot hand in the draft…

    There’s at minimum a dozen quality starters among those draftees (including at least 5 or 6 future NFL stars) along with another half dozen quality contributors.

    all in 4 drafts.

    Show me better drafting by any other GM in the league over that same period…

    Dom drafted exactly 3 good players in 5 years (GMC, Doug Martin and LD54) along with a JPP handful of “contributors” – Gholston, Tandy, Stocker

    Licht will be running this team for quite some time and is much more likely than not to hoist the Lombardi trophy at some point during his tenure here.

  11. 813bucboi Says:

    The Titans passing on Howard was moronic in my opinion but they did it because they added a weapon at pick 5 and were picking for need instead of value.

    not true….they got excellent value in a.jackson….1 player= 3 positions….nickel/cb/kr….he could impact the game from a defensive stand point and on ST….

    during the pre draft interviews, robinson said he wanted to get more athletic with his skills position and he did just that…..

    he got to athletic first rounders and drafted 2 athletic 3rd rounders for his offense in taywan taylor (wr/speedster)and jonnus smith(te/similar to delanie walker)….

    drafting Jackson was better value for tenn because he gave them more flexibility and could possibly fill 3 holes on there roster….GO BUCS!!!!

  12. Lord Cornelius Says:


    My point is that pre-draft no one had Adoree Jackson over OJ Howard on any draft board. He was not better value as an overall talent according to 100% of the NFL talking heads out there and it wasn’t close.

    And yeah Jackson definitely fills their needs more so than Howard I agree. But no one had Adoree Jackson as a shut down corner / elite corner. I did like him a lot tho personally and would have been OK with him at 19 if Howard was gone

  13. mike10 Says:

    Usually, us fans have a pretty good pulse on what is going thru ownerships mind with coaching and management. That’s how it’s felt the past 10 years. And usually, it’s our opinion that shapes the Glazer’s decisions.

    I think we all all know Licht, after that first forgettable season with Lovie, is doing a great job – he’s not going anywhere.

  14. Pickgrin Says:

    Adore Jackson was a borderline 1st round prospect who was either in the 20s or 30s on most boards.

    OJ Howard was a top 10 or at worst top 15 pick on every single draft board. Quite a few even had him as a top 5 talent.

    I respect Jon Robinson – but picking Adore Jackson over OJ Howard was a classic example of a mistake that way too many GMs make – drafting “need” over talent.

    Thanks Jon!

    Enjoy your run of the mill CB who might make a splash play in the return game every now and then.

    Mean while – the best TE prospect this league has seen in a long time will be earning Pro Bowl and All Pro accolades year in and year out as a Buccaneer for the next decade.

  15. tnew Says:

    Last time I checked, our TE led the league in TD’s… I would bet my house that the Titans would trade Walker for Brate today. A weapon is a weapon. Chargers drafted Hunter Henry (tied Brate for TD’s for a TE as a Rookie) with Antonio Gates on the Roster. Belicheck drafted Gronkowski and Hernandez (RIP) in the same draft, which was a genius football decision that unfortunately never came to fruition because of Hernandez off the field trouble. With Brate and OJ Howard (thank you Jon Robinson) the Bucs should be able to manipulate this mismatch into the next 4-5 seasons at least.

    Passing on talent in place of needs gets you, Gaines Adams instead of Adrian Petersen, Mark Barron instead of Luke Keuchley or Roberto Aguayo instead of ….

  16. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I hope the Panthers hire Mark Dominick.

  17. Lord Cornelius Says:

    “I would bet my house that the Titans would trade Walker for Brate today.”

    The only reason would be age. Delanie Walker is much more talented. He’s bigger than Brate and runs a 4.5 40 and has great hands and athleticism. He had one less TD than Brate but more yards and more YAC.

    Winston made Nick O learly look like a potential high NFL draft pick in terms of production but that guy has done nothing in this league yet. It’s very likely Brate doesn’t have nearly the success he’s had on another team with more talent or a average QB. Hell he was fighting for a roster spot when we got him

  18. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Lord C

    I agree with your takes on our OL. It could still blow up if Sweezy goes down and Dot never gets back to his top form which is only competent at best….but as you suggest it could also break out bigtime without that much luck…mostly Sweezy’s back…D. Smith continues to grow and improve and LT is the 2nd hardest position to learn in the league…I think it was LUV who first compared the Marpet story to Kevin Mawae who moved from guard to Center in his third year and became a wildly successful All Pro. Benenoch is still a wild card…he accomplished some strong things at UCLA and in his second year perhaps he’ll pull a Pamphile and show he can play in the league.

    BTW Lord C hope you and the guys are still rockin’ it.

  19. stpetebucsfan Says:

    BTW on this thread topic….I understand the Joe’s concerns but I’m more worried about the opposite reason for losing Licht.

    Not if we reach the SB in the next few years Licht will be one of the most sought after GM’s in the entire league. Some wealthy franchise in need may make a move. Knowing Licht and Koetter though I believe that they both always try to have backups being groomed “for the day”….

  20. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    As a Tampa Fan, I am delighted that Carolina decided to fire their General Manager.

  21. Buccfan37 Says:

    I don’t see Licht going anywhere else for a good spell either unless he gets an offer he can’t refuse.

  22. Bucsfan951 Says:

    Fire licht this year if the Bucs don’t win 10 games… now I’ve heard it all! I swear Bucs fans have to be the stupidest fans in all of sports.