The Carolina Panthers have secured one big hire this offseason, as Dan Morgan, a former Pro Bowler with the team in his playing days, was named general manager and president of football operations.
The Panthers searched far and wide to find the right person for the job, but they decided to stay in-house, as Morgan has been assistant GM since 2021.
However, Carolina said it will be “bringing a new approach to their front office, even if it has a familiar face.” The Panthers, of course, had the worst record in the NFL last season at 2-15.
“By putting Morgan in this position, it allows them to tap into his football background and capitalize on his relationships with players, coaches, and agents throughout the league, with the context of the toughness he brought to the game.”
Morgan’s time with the Panthers as a player was very successful, as the No. 11 pick of the 2001 NFL Draft made the Pro Bowl in 2004 and played seven seasons in Carolina, racking up the 10th-most tackles in franchise history (390 combined).
Morgan played from 2001-07, and after a few years outside the game, he started working in the scouting department of the Seattle Seahawks. He’d serve in their front office from 2010-2017 before making the jump to the Buffalo Bills in 2018.
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After three seasons in upstate New York, Morgan returned to the Panthers to serve as assistant GM.
Now, he takes the reins of an organization desperately looking to revamp their ways after a dreadful season under head coach Frank Reich, who was fired mid-way through his first year on the job.
That will be Morgan’s next line of business, as the Panthers need to bring in another head coach that can hopefully turn the tides on the field.
“Dan has a thorough knowledge of our football personnel and a clear vision to take us where we all want to go,” Panthers owner David Tepper said in the team’s official announcement of the hire. “We know he will attack this opportunity with the same intensity he did as a Panthers player.”
What Morgan can build on is a defense that continuously got better each game despite their overall record. Players like Pro Bowler Derrick Brown are pieces Morgan can build on to solidify that side of the ball.
But the onus will be on rookie quarterback Bryce Young to take a leap forward in year two. Morgan’s first line of business should be getting him more playmakers, either in free agency or the NFL Draft.
Young loved throwing to veteran wideout Adam Thielen last season, but other than that, no one stood out as significant. The run game was also supposed to feature free agent pickup Miles Sanders in a lead role, but he couldn’t get going at all during the season, which led Chubba Hubbard to take over the lion’s share.
The Panthers finished dead last in the NFL with 265.3 yards averaged per game and 13.9 points scored as well.
It may take time before Carolina gets back to their playoff ways, but Morgan knows what a team needs to win in this league after anchoring a defense that reached Super Bowl XXXVIII.
Now, Morgan and the Panthers’ front office can solely focus on getting the right head coach on the field before restructuring the roster.