CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers have found their new general manager.
Longtime Panthers' GM Marty Hurney was fired in December.
Hurney's contract initially ran through June 2, 2021. He has been the team's general manager since 2017 when he replaced Dave Gettleman.
“I notified Marty that we would not be extending his contract beyond the 2020 season,” Panthers owner David Tepper said. “This was a difficult decision. Marty has been a valuable member of our franchise and there is no way to convey my level of respect for him. We sincerely appreciate his hard work over 19 seasons and wish him well moving forward.”
Tepper told Panthers.com he and Hurney had different ideas about the team's future and felt it was time to make the change.
"I think sometimes you just need a restart, a refresh," Tepper said. "We did it last year on the coaching side. Maybe you could say it should have been done before on the GM side. Maybe it should have been. I'm sure people may say that, or otherwise, on both sides."
Fitterer was one of four final candidates for the Panthers' GM job, an all-star list that included Tennessee Titans' director of player personnel Monti Ossenfort, San Francisco 49ers' vice president of player personnel Adam Peters and Kansas City Chiefs' assistant director of player personnel Ryan Poles. All four men went through an in-person interview after several virtual interviews.
There were 15 candidates originally.
Fitterer was previously the vice president of football operations for the Seattle Seahawks. He's been in that position for the past six seasons under the guidance of Seahawks' GM John Schneider, who just signed an extension with the team through the 2027 NFL Draft.
After joining the Seahawks in 2001, Fitterer rose to the director of college scouting before serving as VP of football operations.
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For the record, Seattle has made the playoffs in nine of the last 11 seasons.
Before the Seahawks, Fitterer was a part-time scout for the New York Giants.
Fitterer also played football and baseball in college (both at UCLA and LSU) and pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays organization for three seasons before shoulder problems sidelined his baseball career.