The Carolina Panthers new general manager says if he does his job right, the team will win a Super Bowl. Those were among Dave Gettleman’s comments at his introductory press conference Tuesday at the Panther’s stadium.
Panthers’ owner Jerry Richardson laid it out simply for his newest hire:
"One of the things a general manager has to do, is he has to be able to fix things," Richardson said.
Dave Gettleman has a lot to fix. He’s taking over a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in four years and hasn’t won a playoff game since 2006.
"The first thing you have to do, is you have to properly evaluate your team," Gettleman said. "You have to do it unemotionally. You have to do it objectively. Very frankly, that’s next on my agenda."
Gettleman said evaluating players is what he does best – he’s been doing it for 25 years in the NFL.
He’s been a part of three Super Bowl champions. He was a scout for the Denver Broncos win they won in 1998, and he was the personnel director for the New York Giants win they won in 2008 and 2012.
He said the Panthers have talent, including quarterback Cam Newton. But he said you never stop adjusting your roster.
"You draft," Gettleman said. "You use all the avenues to add players to your team. You watch the waiver wire. You inquire about trade possibilities. You take guys off the street. You snag guys off someone else’s practice squad. You don’t have to spend a ton of cash to get a good football player."
That mentality will be tested this offseason. The Panthers are almost $16 million over the salary cap, so Gettleman will have to make cuts before the start of free agency in March.
Gettleman also said he has a lot of respect for head coach Ron Rivera. He thinks it’s clear the players do too based on the effort they put in to finish the season on a four-game win streak.
Gettleman said part of his job is to make Rivera better.
"I told Ron when we had breakfast Thursday morning, I said, ‘If we do this right, you and I are holding up a trophy with Mr. Richardson,’" Gettleman said. "That’s plain and simple."
Gettleman would not say how soon he thinks that could happen.