What personnel decisions did Scott Fitterer get right during his three-year tenure as Carolina Panthers general manager?
As things stand now, the Scott Fitterer era is probably one to forget. The word probably is doing a lot of work in that sentence.
The Chicago Bears trade, which hasn't even reached peak levels of disastrous yet, will ultimately be the headliner, but Fitterer's tenure with the Carolina Panthers had plenty of other decisions worth taking one last look at.
Considering how the Panthers, you know, don't have a first-round pick in this year's draft, there seems like plenty of time between now and next August to focus on all the bad moves that led them here.
Before we close the book - and never re-open the book, and maybe throw out the book, and forget the book ever existed in the first place - let's take a quick look back on what Fitterer did well in his three-season run at the helm.
Carolina Panthers drafted Chuba Hubbard
Since going in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, Chuba Hubbard's gradually been getting better each season:
A four-column chart doesn't come close to painting the full picture, but there's plenty of evidence to suggest that Hubbard very well may be A Dude in this league. Even with running back longevity being out of style in today's NFL, getting a good one on a rookie deal goes a long way.
The Carolina Panthers are in the 'we'll just take whatever good players we can get' stage of their rebuild. Hubbard - who was one of the all-time great running backs at an all-time great running back school in Oklahoma State - fits the mold.
Frankly, Hubbard's real value lies in what it allows the Panthers to do around him. You may remember the $25 million contract that Scott Fitterer gave Miles Sanders.
Sanders was one of the least effective running backs in football this season. You'll note him in the lower left quadrant, near literally no one else. For those unaware, that's where you don't want to be.
If the next Panthers general manager was interested in figuring out a way to get out of paying 'top' dollar for one of the least productive backs in football for the next three years, Hubbard's reliability goes a long way in making that decision easier.