The Carolina Panthers shockingly fired general manager Dave Gettleman on Monday and it's not completely clear why. After all, Gettleman turned around the franchise and posted a 40-23-1 record from 2013-16, nearly winning a Super Bowl following the 2015 regular season.
On Monday, CBS Sports NFL analyst Jon Beason joined Jorge Andres to contextualize the Panthers' decision. You can watch the video of their conversation above.
According to Beason, it comes down to ego and how Gettleman treated the players -- including Beason, who played for the Panthers from 2007-13. Gettleman traded Beason to the Giants midway through his season as GM.
First things first: Beason was shocked like everyone else.
"Well, I was shocked," he said. "You look at what he's been able to accomplish over the last four seasons and the track record speaks for itself. He's made some moves that some people may question, but ultimately, to have the season that they had just two years ago, to be so close to winning the Super Bowl, he had to have done some things well."
But for Beason, it "came full circle" given the way he was treated by Gettleman on his way out of Carolina. According to Beason, he wasn't even given a handshake when he was shown the door back in 2013.
"But for me, it kinda came full circle," he said. "The way that the trade went down between the Giants and the Panthers when I moved on from the Carolina Panthers, it was done in a way that wasn't classy. I didn't want to be the disgruntled player who's saying this, saying that because he was traded. But at the end of the day, you're a first-round pick, you played extremely well for an organization, you're one of the key guys on the team, a new GM comes in and doesn't even give you a handshake on your way out the door."
Beason then went on to explain what he's been told about the firing.
"On all accounts, from what I've been told, there's been a lot of disconnect. One, with the draft. There's the disconnect with the way he treats the players. There's disconnect between ownership. Knowing Big Cat, Jerry Richardson, the owner of the Panthers, he's a guy who will not be dictated to at all. He's very fair. I know that when it comes to being general manger, he wants those guys to just go do their thing. But when he has to step in, at some point, there has to be a level of respect there on both parties. And it can't be, "Hey listen, I'm the GM. I'm running it this way. If you don't like it, let me go.'"
He continued later: "There's guys that are on that team, in that locker room, that basically felt like this is who Gettleman was and he was almost on this ego trip."
What Beason said makes sense -- Gettleman has made a few questionable moves in recent years, like rescinding Josh Norman's franchise tag last year -- and the disconnect between the front office and the players is something that was also reported elsewhere.
There's always been tension btwn front office and locker room b/c of unpopular moves Gettleman made. I'm told it's only increased of late.— Joe Person (@josephperson) July 17, 2017
With all that being said, it's still tough to justify firing a general manager who did so well. That's not to say that Gettleman was a perfect GM -- he didn't really give Cam Newton the best supporting cast, though he certainly tried in this year's draft -- but the Panthers could do a whole lot worse than Gettleman, at least from a pure football perspective.
Whoever takes over for Gettleman will face pressure to continue his run of success.