The Panthers went to the playoffs during Gettleman's first three seasons with the team.
Less than 18 months removed from a dominant 2015 season that concluded with an NFC championship and just two losses, the Carolina Panthers are moving in a different direction.
Obviously, what makes this move more shocking than anything is the timing of it much like Jerry Richardson mentioned.
The team announced the dismissal Monday afternoon.
Gettleman parted ways with several of Carolina's all-time best players in wide receiver Steve Smith Sr., running back DeAngelo Williams and cornerback Josh Norman. "I want to thank Dave for the role he played in our success over the past four seasons". Smith took a parting shot at Gettleman on Twitter.
Richardson also acknowledged the timing is not ideal as the Panthers are scheduled to report to camp on July 26. Norman then became a free agent and signed with the Redskins. But Carolina slipped to 6-10 a year ago after a tumultuous offseason that saw Gettleman rescind cornerback Josh Norman's franchise tag after negotiations turned sour. Carolina apparently is now an option again in Williams' mind with Gettleman's firing.
Before coming to Carolina, Gettleman spent nearly three decades in National Football League scouting departments.
The Panthers perhaps saw an opportunity to get a general manager like John Dorsey and thought this was the best time to jump at it, or perhaps they have another candidate in mind.