Once the NFL found no evidence that Marty Hurney had violated the league’s personal conduct policy, he was re-instated and returned to work as interim general manager for the Carolina Panthers. On Wednesday, the Panthers named Hurney their full-time GM going forward.
“We are very fortunate to have Marty as our general manager after he did an exceptional job in the interim role this past season.” Panthers COO Tina Becker said in a team release. “Marty’s guidance and vision helped build the foundation for this team, and his work this season was instrumental in returning the team to the playoffs. We believe he will continue to craft a roster that will win games and contend for a championship.”
Hurney served as Panthers GM from 2002 to 2012 before being replaced by Dave Gettleman. When Gettleman was fired eight days prior to the start of 2017 training camp, owner Jerry Richardson rehired Hurney on an interim basis to replace Gettleman.
Hurney had been placed on leave on Feb. 4 after his ex-wife filed a request for a temporary restraining order against him. Hurney’s ex-wife had alleged that he was “physically and emotionally abusive” during their marriage and that she suspected him of compromising her home sercurity system and phone and that either Hurney or someone he knew had broken into her home.
The NFL said last Friday it found no evidence that Hurney did any wrongdoing, and she dropped the charges against him. Richardson is believed to be putting the team up for sale following a Sports Illustrated report about sexual and racial workplace misconduct under his watch.
Hurney has a long track record of strong first-round picks such as Cam Newton, Julius Peppers, Luke Kuechly, Jordan Gross, Thomas Davis, Jon Beason, DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, among others. The Panthers also found later-round steals such as cornerback Josh Norman in the fifth round.
Although Hurney was believed to be the favorite to retain the GM title, the team also interviewed Jimmy Raye III, Lake Dawson and Martin Mayhew for the position while the NFL's investigation took place.
“I have always felt a strong connection to this organization and viewed this job as one of the very best in the NFL because of the people here,” Hurney said. “Mr. Richardson and Tina have been open and honest with me from the beginning, and I am thankful for the trust they have placed in me.
"I gained a lot of perspective being away and then back in an interim role last season. I feel that I am the best person to help Ron and this team moving forward. We have a really special core of players in place, and I’m extremely excited about the direction we are headed.”
The Panthers made the playoffs in Hurney's first season back with the team in 2017, going 11-5 and finishing second in the strong NFC South division before losing the wild-card round of the playoffs to the New Orleans Saints. It was the Panthers' third loss of the season to New Orleans.