DeAngelo Williams Willing To Play For Panthers Following Monday Firing Of GM

Katrina Barker
July 18, 2017

None has been bigger than this.

Owner Jerry Richardson said in a statement he made the decision after a long evaluation of the team's football operations. At the time of his release, Williams told WBTV Charlotte that he was OK with the team's decision because of the way he and his family were treated when Williams' mother died of breast cancer.

Steve Smith's numerous fans also hoped that Gettleman's firing might bring Smith back to the team even briefly, for his planned retirement from the NFL. But Carolina slipped to 6-10 past year after a tumultuous offseason that saw Gettleman rescind cornerback Josh Norman's franchise tag after negotiations turned sour. As part of Williams' release, he had to wait until just after the start of the 2015 league year to officially become an unrestricted free agent as the Panthers wanted to designate him as a post June 1 cut in order to stretch out his dead money over two years. Gettleman had been general manager of the Panthers since 2013. The 29-year-old eventually signed a five-year, $75-million deal with Washington.

Smith, arguably the franchise's most popular player, never took the move well.

The Panthers finished first in the NFC South in Gettleman's first three seasons with the team and they won the NFC Championship in 2015.

Gettleman is the second NFL GM fired in less than a month.

Norman's reaction to Gettleman's firing was pretty tame.

The Panthers are now dealing with a potential mess involving Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen, a former Wayne Hills High star.

Should this indeed be the case - and it very well could be since GMs are nearly never canned in mid-July after all the important personnel decisions were made - Richardson has a short-term memory about the salary-cap damage previously caused by the Panthers making financial choices based upon emotions and personal feelings about players rather than what's in the best long-term interest of the club.

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