The Carolina Panthers got rid of their general manager this week … and brought back his predecessor.
The franchise announced Wednesday that it was installing Marty Hurney, who served as Carolina’s general manager from 2002-12, on an interim basis.
The Panthers also indicated that “Hurney will help the team identify its next general manager,” signaling an increased role in determining the future of the franchise.
“I never lost the connection with the organization,” Hurney said Wednesday in a statement posted to the team’s website. “I’ve gained a lot of perspective and have looked at things in different ways. I think I can help this team in a lot of areas. I think I’ve grown. And I feel I’m better prepared to come in this time and do a better job than I did over the 12 years I was general manager last time.”
Hurney’s familiarity with the franchise — he was responsible for acquiring all of Carolina’s current team captains (quarterback Cam Newton, linebacker Luke Kuechly, linebacker Thomas Davis, tight end Greg Olsen, center Ryan Kalil, and defensive end Charles Johnson) — as well as his relationship with owner Jerry Richardson facilitated the move.
Hurney helped the franchise reach its first Super Bowl after the 2003 season. However he also became known for whiffs on draft picks and for doling out lucrative contracts to underachieving players that ended up putting the Panthers in a difficult salary cap position.
The Panthers fired Hurney in October 2012 after a string of mediocre seasons.
Carolina’s players report to Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C., for the start of training camp Tuesday.