Would promoting Dan Morgan to Carolina Panthers general manager after one of the worst seasons in franchise history make sense?
The Carolina Panthers were well within their right to relieve Scott Fitterer of his general manager duties. His bold predictions before the campaign about being in a position to win the NFC South ended up being his demise. Considering the organization is also looking for another head coach after firing Frank Reich, this is the perfect chance for team owner David Tepper to hit the reset button and start anew.
Dan Morgan a 'strong candidate' for Carolina Panthers GM
According to Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports, the Panthers have begun their second round of interviews to find their next front-office leader. The respected insider - who has close ties to the team due to his previous employment at the Charlotte Observer - also revealed that Dan Morgan is a strong candidate for internal promotion rather than looking outside the franchise.
"The Panthers have quietly entered their second round of interviews for their next general manager, sources tell CBS Sports. Current assistant GM Dan Morgan went into the process as a strong candidate for the role."- Jonathan Jones via X/Twitter
Morgan is a revered former Panthers linebacker who's worked up the front-office ranks with some prestigious organizations. He's widely respected around the league. He's also formed a close working relationship with Tepper and seems increasingly influential behind the scenes.
There's a chance Morgan can thrive with extra responsibilities with the Panthers if Tepper and his consultancy firm opt to go in this direction. But keeping around staff hasn't exactly reaped the necessary rewards previously.
Marty Hurney stayed on when Matt Rhule came on board. Fitterer was retained when Rhule was fired. With the opportunity to bring in a head coach/general manager combination simultaneously to develop a cohesive working relationship, Carolina might end up moving forward with Morgan instead.
Fitterer got the benefit of the doubt because Rhule held absolute power. It seems like Tepper is considering the same with Morgan despite his close association with the recently fired general manager. If nothing else, he's complicit in the team's suspect roster management over the last three years.
Hiring a consultancy firm to examine the best options available - which Tepper's unlimited wealth could easily afford - and going with someone already on the books is very on-brand. One has to also wonder what their thought process behind potentially recommending Morgan would be looking at the current state of affairs.
If Morgan is hired, skepticism will remain until proven otherwise. This is a time for optimism for the future - just look at the Washington Commanders after they hired Adam Peters - not wonder how responsible a hire was for the previous stenches left by Carolina under Tepper's watch. But as we all know, the erratic billionaire likes to keep people close who enable his behavior, so that's what we might be looking at.
Things should become clearer in the next few days. Morgan is staking a claim and is well-liked. But keeping people around just because they get on with Tepper and tolerate his meddling has brought the Panthers nothing but misery since he purchased the team from Jerry Richardson.
After a two-win season, it's time for fresh ideas. Someone with proven credentials and success in molding rosters capable of sustained contention. Not the dreaded 'this is how we used to do things' under someone like Morgan.
That's just my personal preference.