Carolina Panthers' front-office revamp takes strangest turn yet

This was a surprising turn of events.
Adrian Wilson
Adrian Wilson / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Morgan surveyed the lay of the land upon taking the general manager position. He knew most people in the building well having been part of the front-office setup under the previous regime. It was also a difficult time to make substantial changes considering draft reports and free-agent targets were already devised.

It didn't take long after the draft concluded for Morgan to shake things up. Several front-office departures, hirings, and altered roles came to light. The most recent was surprising and represented the strangest development yet.

Adrian Wilson's departure came with no real explanation from the Carolina Panthers

Mike Florio from Pro Football Talk revealed that Adrian Wilson was removed as vice president of player personnel after one season with the franchise. A statement obtained from the Carolina Panthers seemed shrouded in secrecy, giving no real explanation regarding the firing and no acknowledgment of the executive's work since joining the team.

"Adrian Wilson will not continue in his position as Vice President of Player Personnel for the Carolina Panthers. Consistent with our organizational policy on employee matters, we will have no further comment."

Panthers spokesperson via PFT

Wilson is the highest-profile departure since Scott Fitterer and Samir Suleiman. He joined last offseason and has a strong reputation in league circles. The former safety has even been touted as a potential general manager one day - a position he held jointly on an interim basis during his stint with the Arizona Cardinals.

This came out of the blue. Wilson was seen behind Morgan and head coach Dave Canales during the team's recent draft. He seemed more thrilled than most about the team's ability to get their hands on running back Jonathon Brooks at No. 46 overall. Unfortunately, this was his last major engagement before being shown the door.

The news raised a few eyebrows among the fanbase. Skepticism brought on by a carousel of additions and losses over the last few years.

Based on Carolina's short statement when provoked by Florio, it's unlikely a more detailed explanation will come to light unless Morgan is asked something on the matter during his media availability at training camp. It's a cutthroat business, but Wilson shouldn't be out of work for long given the esteem in which he is held around the league.

Wilson's ruthless removal is another high-profile hire that didn't last long under David Tepper's ownership.

It's been a constant stream of comings and goings across the football operation. This is also prevalent on the Tepper Sports and Entertainment business side of things. It's a microcosm of the problems that have embroiled the Panthers since he bought the team from Jerry Richardson. Something that must change as a matter of urgency to provide some much-needed stability to a franchise not being perceived in the best light around the NFL right now.

While the decision to part ways with Wilson was shocking, there needs to be a level of trust attached. Morgan has a clear vision for the future. He's working with the long-term in mind and wants people around who are fully aligned with his way of thinking. He's got every right to hire and fire as he pleases to get the Panthers trending upward at long last.

We'll probably never know the genuine circumstances behind Wilson being made to surplus to requirements. But so long as Morgan's ambitious proposals remain on track, that's all fans should care about.