CHARLOTTE — The Carolina Panthers have fired General Manager Scott Fitterer.
“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,” Panthers owner David Tepper said in a statement on panthers.com. “I appreciate Scott’s efforts and wish the best for him and his family.”
Fitterer had been with the team for three seasons. He’s one of the main reasons quarterback Bryce Young is in Carolina, leading the push to move up to first overall in last year’s NFL draft.
But Fitterer has been criticized for not surrounding Young with enough talent. The Panthers finished their season Sunday with a 2-15 record. That tied a franchise record for the most losses in a single season.
Carolina went 14-37 during Fitterer’s three-year tenure.
The team said they will start the search for Fitterer’s replacement immediately. It will be the first time since 2002 that Carolina will have hired a coach and a general manager during the same offseason.
The team cleared out their lockers on Monday as the offseason began.
“Obviously, coming off Rhule getting fired and going through that, it’s kind of -- there was change, there wasn’t change,” guard Austin Corbett said. “So now it’s truly ‘OK fresh start, let’s see what we got.”
“It’s a reset,” Young said. “All going to start 0-0 next year, so I think you get optimism with that, of it being a fresh start and next year being a new year.”
The Panthers will start interviewing coaching candidates in person on Jan. 22.
One of the most pressing issues for the new head coach and new general manager will be what to do with linebacker Brian Burns. He didn’t hesitate Monday when he said he wants to return to Carolina.
“If they do keep the core, my guys, my defense together -- and I feel like there’s so much that we didn’t get to do that I want to do with those guys,” he said.
If Burns does stay with the Panthers, he’ll play for his fourth head coach and third general manager since he joined the team in 2019.
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