The collective reaction around the NFL to Monday's announcement from the Carolina Panthers that they have fired General Manager Dave Gettleman can be summed up in a word: Whoa.
The bombshell comes a week before teams will report to training camps, and is highly unusual. Here is a look at some of that reaction from those who cover the league on a national basis.
Still can't believe the firing of Dave Gettleman. He's a good man with a winning record as GM.
— John Clayton (@ClaytonESPN) July 17, 2017
The timing is nuts. #Panthers people were all on vacation. GM Dave Gettleman returns… & finds himself as a former GM. Camp starts in a week
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 17, 2017
Panthers' football staff not in the building now, and lots of guys trying to figure out why this happened. An absolute stunner.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) July 17, 2017
Gettleman's firing continues an offseason of massive change in Carolina. Former team president Danny Morrison resigned in February, and assistant General Manager Brandon Beane departed for Buffalo after the draft in early April.
Beane previously served as interim general manager with the Panthers before Gettleman was hired in 2013.
"After much thought and a long evaluation of our football operations, I have decided to relieve Dave Gettleman of his duties as general manager," Panthers owner Jerry Richardson said in a statement posted on the team's website. "I want to thank Dave for the role he played in our success over the past four seasons. While the timing of this decision is not ideal, a change is needed."
The Panthers made the playoffs in Gettleman's first three years as general manager, including a trip to the 2015 Super Bowl, before slumping to 6-10 last season. Carolina's decision to let veterans like receiver Steve Smith and cornerback Josh Norman go were controversial at the time, and in Norman's case, widely regarded as a reason the team took such a big step back in 2016.
The current Washington cornerback shared his thoughts on Twitter, emoji-style.
— *Joshua R. Norman (@J_No24) July 17, 2017
It's fair to wonder whether Beane, a North Carolina native, would have been in line for the permanent job had he stayed with the organization.