Carolina Panthers rehire Hurney as interim general manager

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Panthers have turned to a familiar face to run their front office and bring some stability to the organization.

Carolina rehired Marty Hurney as their interim general manager on Wednesday, two days after owner Jerry Richardson surprisingly fired Dave Gettleman.

Hurney served as Panthers general manager from 1998-2012.

Richardson said in a release Wednesday that Hurney “is the perfect person to help us in the interim. He worked with us for 15 years and understands the culture we have here. He had a lot to do with the core of our team being in place. I’m thankful that he is willing to help us in this transition period.”

Hurney drafted quarterback Cam Newton, linebackers Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis, center Ryan Kalil and defensive end Charles Johnson, and traded for tight end Greg Olsen — all of whom are team captains. Newton was the 2011 Offensive Rookie of the Year and Kuechly won the defensive rookie honor the next year.

In a release Wednesday, Hurney said, “I never lost my investment in and respect for this organization and the people inside it, from Jerry Richardson to (coach) Ron Rivera to a lot of the players in that locker room. I am excited about coming back and working toward success on the field, and helping identify and develop someone for the future.”

Hurney had been working in broadcasting in the Charlotte after leaving the Panthers.

Hurney’s last two first-round draft choices as general manager were quarterback Newton (No. 1 overall in 2011) and linebacker Luke Kuechly (No. 9 overall in 2012). He also hired Rivera, a two-time NFL Coach of the Year.

His first order of business is likely to extend the contracts of Davis, Olsen and guard Trai Turner. Davis and Turner have one year left on their deals, while Olsen’s contract expires after the 2018 season — although he has outperformed his current contract.

Those moves could happen before the Panthers report to training camp Tuesday.

Gettleman had been Carolina’s general manager for four seasons, three of which resulted in a trip to the playoffs. But Carolina was 6-10 last season a year after reaching Super Bowl 50, where it lost to Denver.

The relationship between Richardson and Gettleman began to deteriorate shortly after Carolina’s Super Bowl defeat. The relationship between Gettleman and the players in the locker room had soured after some veterans felt like he wasn’t treating them correctly.

Earlier this year, Panthers President Danny Morrison left the organization.

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