Panthers GM: “For The First Time, This Is A Wide-Open Division”

February 4th, 2022

Fighting words from the Carolina Panthers general manager.

Joe actually slammed a Big Storm beer can to the floor of world headquarters in February. That’s rare.

Panthers GM Scott Fitterer is at the Senior Bowl trying to figure out why he traded for Sam Darnold and then extended his contract trying to fix his 5-12 football team and its sad offensive line.

He took time to talk to SiriusXM NFL Radio and was asked about the retirement of Tom Brady and major change in New Orleans leading to a new NFC South.

“It is wide open,” Fitterer said of the NFC South. “We want to be competitive. We’re going to do it, you know, piece-by-piece though. We’re not going to go all-in this year just trying to win this year. We have to build it the right way. We have to be disciplined.

“But yeah, for the first time, this is a wide-open division. We feel good about the situation we’re in. You know, we have a good head coach who’s got a plan. We’ve got an owner who’s supportive of us. So it’s there for the taking but we have to do it the right way.”

Joe was glad to hear the Panthers aren’t going all-in to win in 2022. But it was truly annoying to hear what Joe believed was disrespect for the Bucs in Fitterer’s voice.

This isn’t the 2019 Bucs with Jameis Winston throwing six interceptions and Ali Marpet getting worked over by then-Panthers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy while immortal quarterback Kyle Allen carved up the Bucs defense in a blowout.

The Bucs will field a fantastic roster and should be the clear favorites in the division.

37 Responses to “Panthers GM: “For The First Time, This Is A Wide-Open Division””

  1. Proud Bucs Fan Says:

    Without Brady leading and coaching the Bucs. Panthers know what a downgrade it is to bruce arrogance. Bucco bruce? More like Succo bruce once he gets exposed this season.

  2. Swampbuc Says:

    If Jimmy Grappleblow is the quarterback and Jensen and Cappa move on, and Lenny and Godwin move on (Gronk has already moved on), then um…………yeah, the PAnthies stooge has a point, and 2019 is an appropriate expectation for the Bucs minus the 5000 yards passing.

  3. DBS Says:

    Until we know who the QB is we are the clear nothing. If Trask starts he has not been on an NFL field. We do not know if Godwin will be back. So at this point it is wide open.

  4. Jerry R Jones Says:

    So the Panthers GM is already throwing excuses around for when they lose…is the guy like 5 years old(?).

  5. Gunnin4Ya Says:

    Well Fitterer, will it be wide open when the Bucs land Watson? Assess that Fitterer.

  6. Mike Johnson Says:

    I think its down to Gabbert or Winston. And Bruce luvs Gabbert. So expect for an average or maybe slightly above average season (I hope). Gabbert is going to have to show us he is the man. Most of us think..he is not. Think about it, The Bucs are not gonna give up draft picks or key players to get us a QB. We are stuck with what we have. Yes, The NFC south is wide open this coming season.

  7. David Says:

    The Falcons are in trouble. The Panthers are not very good. The Buccaneers and the Saints still both have very good teams but they both need a quarterback to lead them. The Buccaneers roster is probably in better shape given the cap issues in New Orleans.
    Then of course New Orleans is going to go through a coaching change so the edge definitely goes to the Buccaneers regardless of the quarterback.

  8. Tye Says:

    Arians and Lecht already decided to let Winston walk and not resign him before Brady was available… Chances are slim to none the Bucs bring him back having already once decided they can’t win with him!

  9. Buc king Says:

    Winston would be a good bandaid comes back n balls out with new team or gets us the first pick and we get the future qb then…everyone is far to pricey…. Wilson rodgers Watson Jimmy ally way to much not to mention Carr or Matt ryan…I’m getting to the point where Winston for cheap vs traak

  10. adam from ny Says:

    nice commentary from a guys team who is still ringing up the rear in the division no matter how you slice it

  11. T REX Says:

    With Brady it is wide open LOL

    We obviously think way too high of ourselves.

    No brady – no wins

  12. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Without Brady, life goes on.

    Obviously the Bucs will not go 0-17

    Life goes on.

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  13. Marine Buc Says:

    I agree with the Panther’s GM…

    Saints are a mess. Atlanta is rebuilding and Carolina is mediocre.

    The Bucs have 26 in house free agents, limited cap space and just lost Brady and Gronk…

    Strange days indeed…

  14. David Says:

    For the love of God can we please stop talking about Jameis Winston!!!
    He was a bust because he was the biggest turnover machine in the NFL since he entered the league.

    He’s gone. Adios. It’s been a couple years. Since he left the Buccaneers had the two best years of their existence and won a Super Bowl. Holy crap, move forward people.

  15. zzbucs Says:

    @David…agree 10000000%…..Turn over machine, disgusting outside the field, he had a blast eating a W against the Bucs, he posted a pic with an Eagle Jersey the same day of the game………The far away from the Bucs the better….Chau, Ciao, Ovoire, Bye

  16. Robert Says:

    I cn not beleive people calling for jw back.

    disgraceful. he’s a digrace to the league, he’s thrown shade at us…he’s a pos and a bad QB with a good arm. if he was white he would be Chris Simms, just without the professionalism.

    I just came back from the hell hole they call NO (filthy, with all the garbage lined highways)…jw is right where he belongs.

  17. allbuccedup Says:

    Nobody’s mentioned Scam Newton!

  18. Jerry Says:

    Until someone proves otherwise, it is wide open.

    No one has a solid starting QB anymore. A lot of question marks surrounding every team in the South.

  19. Gbobucsfan Says:

    Gabbert is a free agent. May not even be on the team.

  20. Bucamania Says:

    The Bucs are at an interesting crossroads.

    Option 1: Fall back to being the old Bucs. Find a retread veteran or start a virtual rookie at QB. Miss the playoffs or barely make it. Roster and coaching turnover every year.

    Option 2: Go all-in on a top QB to continue the progress that Brady made here. Tampa would be viewed as a destination for top QBs. Continue to build a legacy in Champa Bay.

  21. David Says:


    You’re right, it is a cross roads. Mainly from the ownership.
    We don’t know if they told Licht to go all in and try to get a QB they think can take this team back to the Super Bowl or if they told him to pull the strings back a little and look at the next few years.

    If they told him to go all in, and the legal troubles are no problem, I think they could have Deshaun Watson For a decent price.

  22. Pewter Power Says:

    No one has a quarterback in the division better than Matt Ryan, no one has a better defense than the Bucs but no it’s not wide open at all we should be and are the favorites. If Blaine gabbert can’t beat the teams in this division well we might as well ride with trask and prepare for the draft early like usual

  23. BuxfaninTX Says:

    Wow such negativity…these are the guys that wanted Licht run out of town 3 years ago… Run Arians??? And who is better that’s available?

  24. Ash Says:

    Just bad timing the draft is terrible for qbs and the other NFL qbs that would give the bucs a chance at another sb Rodgers/Wilson would cost to much in draft capitol and cap issues with the free agents they want to sign anyone else would just be a waste of resources just sign Gabbert rebuild for 2023 and see what you got in Trask

  25. HC Grover Says:

    I think QB search will end up like the coach team getting HC jobs. Round and round till Bucco gets Gabbert in there.

  26. New England Patriots Fan Says:

    Currently there is not one NFL playoff calibre QB in the NFC South. Saints have no one, Carolina have no one, Buccaneers have no one, and Atlanta has a former playoff calibre QB whom may return to form if surround by a great collection of weapons and players. By adding even Cousins or Jimmy or even Wentz Bucaneers would move into the favourite to win the division. If Saints or Carolina trade for Watson they become the favourites to win. There is a massive shortage of playoff calibre QBs in the NFC with the Rivers/Brees/Brady/Ben/Cam retirements and AR going to Titans.

  27. Mike C Says:

    What are the Pat’s going to do now that the league has figured out your big mac? And WHY IS PAT FAN STILL ON THIS SITE?!, He is gone now you can go with him too!

  28. Buc4evr Says:

    I trust Licht will do what it takes to re-sign our best players and bring in undervalued free agents. After we saw how Brady transformed this team, I have to believe that the Bucs have finally adopted a win now at all costs strategy. So I am expecting them to go after every tier 1 QB. Hopefully, if we can get a good QB, this division won’t be wide open this year.

  29. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Damn right you won’t do it all at once… don’t have a 2nd or 3rd round pick next year and you have only $17 mil cap space…..

    Good luck.

  30. Beeej Says:

    JW can’t read defenses, which is why he took 44 sacks his last year. I’m looking at all the teams who shelled out big money and draft picks for new quarterbacks, and nearly all of them have been failures except Stafford. (See Carolina, Denver, Chicago, Indianapolis, New York)

    I can’t see any reason why paying 20 million a year and a second or third round pick for Jimmy G would be a better option for us than a combination of Gabbert and Kyle Trask

  31. xdptoddx Says:

    That’s it! Back up a Brinks truck for Andrew Luck to come out of retirement and drop 50 on this tool.

  32. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    I must admit, the Andrew Luck talk has me intrigued….

  33. Tony Says:

    I think they’d probably pass on Watson no matter how talented he is after everything that started going on with Antonio again. Not sure if they’d wanna deal with another player who’s dealing with off the field problems. Plus they’d have to give quite a bit, too! If they draft somebody again I think I’d rather wait until next year instead of this year. Just getting old constantly seeing us in the crapper because if we don’t go after anybody else again we’re probably gonna be heading towards the crapper again.

  34. Tony Says:

    I think I’d pass on trading for Garoppolo. He has his moments & I don’t think I’d give up a 2nd or 3rd rounder for him.

  35. Lamarcus Says:


  36. Lamarcus Says:

    Man why you hiding the fact that nobody believes we are going to win without Brady? No fans, Gms, Scouts, Coaches, Media…. Think about it, We had Brady a 6 time SB champ and a winner come here and we won a SB but still wasn’t clicking in all cylinders. What makes you think anyone can field what Brady did? What he did was legendary and once in a lifetime deal. If we make the playoffs next year, we would still be bounced.

    Let’s reality set in and us old Bucs fans has experience in situations like this and ride it out!!

  37. stpetebucsfan Says:


    What are you proud of? Not the team or their HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL COACH!
    And certainly not your lame posts.

    Do you know what ad hominem attacks are? Your insults of BA reflect on YOU not the head coach of an SB team that challenged for a second.

    Why don’t you point out how his 2 Coach of the Year awards with TWO different teams are meaningless.

    I suppose then you think Sean Payton sucks as well. Arians was over .600 with both the Cards and the Bucs. Arians overall lifetime win % is .624. Payton’s is .631! That’s .07 ahead of Arians, virtually identical. BTW I have tremendous respect for Payton and am relieved he’s out of our division.

    Or you could look at BB whose record without Brady SUCKS! It’s a LOSING recofd with two different teams until he LUCKED into Brady in the 6th round.
    BB is a HOF Defensive Coordinator who lucked into a great QB!