D.J. Moore twists the knife into outgoing Carolina Panthers GM

The wide receiver provided Scott Fitterer with one last parting shot.

D.J. Moore
D.J. Moore / Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
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Former Carolina Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore twisted the knife into outgoing general manager Scott Fitterer after his firing.

Firing general manager Scott Fitterer was universally well-received by the fanbase. The time for a complete reset had arrived. It's also the first time that the Carolina Panthers will hire a new front-office supremo and head coach simultaneously since 2002.

A series of flawed personnel moves played a leading role in Fitterer's demise. Perhaps the biggest question mark of all centered on the decision to include star wide receiver D.J. Moore in the trade that secured the No. 1 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Moore was tabbed as a necessary sacrifice by those in power. The prize was a potential franchise quarterback - they felt it was a risk worth taking despite the player's importance. They didn't replace him effectively and Fitterer paid the price with his job.

D.J. Moore's damning comment after Carolina Panthers fired Scott Fitterer

When discovering the news of Fitterer's demise, Moore couldn't help but twist the knife further based on comments via Jason Lieser of The Chicago Sun-Times. There's some obvious resentment remaining, even though things worked out well for the former first-round pick after the finest statistical campaign of his professional career.

"I might’ve played a part in that since they traded me… Hope he lands on his feet."

D.J. Moore via X/Twitter

Trading Moore was arguably the toughest decision Fitterer made as general manager. He freely admitted as much during interviews. What made matters worse? The Maryland product was in the process of moving house during the offseason when the dreaded call came.

Moore was a fan favorite. A player capable of producing the goods consistently without any stable quarterback presence whatsoever. It came as no surprise to see his relationship with Justin Fields flourish immediately as the Panthers' offense descended into chaos without him.

Sacrificing someone with Moore's credentials was a gamble. Fitterer's biggest failure in the trade's immediate aftermath was not replacing him effectively. They went into the bargain bin rather than make a significant investment to help rookie signal-caller Bryce Young. Aside from veteran wideout Adam Thielen's arrival, it was a spectacular failure.

The likes of D.J. Chark, Laviska Shenault Jr., Terrace Marshall Jr., and even second-rounder Jonathan Mingo failed to meet even modest targets. In hindsight, Young could have probably done with the team's most consistent pass-catcher to smooth his transition.

Unfortunately for Fitterer, he won't get the chance to see out the project. His three-year tenure with the Panthers was brought to an abrupt halt by Tepper, who is looking to finally put the pieces in place to get Carolina into the playoff picture.

It's a complete mess right now. It's going to take a significant amount of work and time to rebuild the foundations. That's not Moore's problem anymore. After all, could be going through another quarterback change with the Panthers handing over the No. 1 overall selection in the 2024 NFL Draft to his current employers.

The NFL is a business, which Moore should remember. But one could forgive the wideout from having a wry smile at the fate of someone who decided his talent was expendable.


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