In Dave Gettleman’s four seasons as Panthers general manager, Carolina went 40-23-1, made three postseason appearances and came within a win of a Super Bowl title.
He also ticked off a lot of veteran Panthers. So when news broke Monday that Gettleman had been fired, Steve Smith Sr. pulled no punches.
Smith’s vitriol is not misplaced. In October 2014, during his first season with the Ravens, he told a Charlotte radio station that Gettleman told him “basically that I’m a shadow of the player I used to be — I can’t run and jump like I used to, I’m jealous of Cam [Newton].”
Smith, who played 13 seasons in Carolina, also said he learned he was released when he heard the news on the radio.
“He doesn’t even have the cojones to tell it to my face,” Smith said. “Everybody else says that it wasn’t personal, but if the first thing comes out of your mouth if it wasn’t personal, well, guess what? It was personal.”
“To build a case and start to leak stories that are inaccurate or paint a picture that I forced something, I think that’s just unfair,” he added.
Smith wasn’t the only ex-Panthers star with feelings to share Monday.