The Carolina Panthers are heading in a completely different direction after team owner David Tepper fired general manager Scott Fitterer.
The rumors surrounding Scott Fitterer's future were officially confirmed to kick off Black Monday around the league. David Tepper had seen enough, opting for a hard reset and relieving the general manager of his duties following an underwhelming three years on the job.
This means the Carolina Panthers are on the lookout for a new head coach and general manager simultaneously. Tepper hasn't gone down this route before. Considering he's also hired a consultancy firm to assist with his recruitment efforts, it could indicate positive changes in the billionaire's approach after untold ridicule for his approach previously.
Carolina Panthers firing Scott Fitterer is the right call
Much like his comments after throwing a drink over fans at the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tepper's statement regarding Fitterer was brief via the team's website. Perhaps the most notable takeaway was the promise of a new direction. This has been a long time coming in Carolina.
"As we move forward with the new direction for our franchise, I have made the decision that Scott Fitterer will no longer serve as our general manager. I appreciate Scott's efforts and wish the best for him and his family."- David Tepper via Panthers.com
Fitterer got away with criticism when Matt Rhule held the final say on personnel. That's not been the case in recent months.
The front-office leader boldly claimed the Panthers were ready to drop in a quarterback and take off. Instead, they finished 2-14 and are gearing up to hand over the No. 1 overall selection in the 2024 NFL Draft to the Chicago Bears.
That's a damning indictment of Fitterer's ability to successfully evaluate personnel. His in-on-every-deal philosophy brought plenty of activity on the trade front with very little success attached. Another reason why Tepper's made him surplus to requirements.
Moves for C.J. Henderson and Laviska Shenault Jr. were among the biggest failures. Fitterer also took it upon himself to trade Christian McCaffrey and wide receiver D.J. Moore - two cornerstone pieces who weren't replaced effectively.
Fitterer can have no complaints. This is also the chance for real change in Carolina. The chance to do things right at long last. To provide the franchise with a legitimate and clear plan for sustainable growth.
If Fitterer didn't see this coming, he should have. Especially after his delusional predictions surrounding the potential to win the NFC South and make some noise in the postseason before a competitive down was played.
As for Tepper, it's back to the drawing board. However, the realization that things must be done differently provides some optimism this is the offseason he'll finally get the right people into the organization at long last.