CHARLOTTE — After meeting with and deciding to retain coach Ron Rivera on Saturday, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson begins the process of finding a general manager in earnest.
The Panthers had a head start on the other six teams looking for a general manager after firing Marty Hurney in October. A few weeks later, Richardson hired former New York Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi to consult on the search.
The Panthers are expected to interview six candidates this week. The Observer looks at each of the six finalists (in alphabetical order):
Current position: Panthers interim GM
Comment: Beane was former general manager Marty Hurney’s top aide for five years, overseeing the equipment, video and team operations, and coordinating training camp and team travel.
Current position: Titans VP of player personnel
Comment: Dawson interviewed for the Rams’ general manager vacancy last year before Les Snead was hired. He has been a pro scout throughout his career, and was with Seattle in 2005 when the Seahawks beat Carolina to advance to the Super Bowl.
Current position: N.Y. Giants senior pro personnel analyst
Comment: Gettleman has 25 years of NFL experience, by far the most among the finalists. Gettleman has been a part of six Super Bowl teams, including three that won.
Current position: Vikings assistant GM
Comment: The Vikings gave Paton a promotion last year when it appeared he was going to land the Rams’ GM job.
Current position: Montreal Alouettes VP, GM, director of football operations and player personnel.
Comment: Popp has carved out a successful CFL career. Over the past 19 years, all of Popp’s teams have made the playoffs, with four winning Grey Cups. He and his family live in Mooresville, N.C.
Current position: N.Y. Giants director of college scouting.
Comment: Ross is one of the hottest candidates, interviewing with four of the seven teams that have openings. Ross has already talked to San Diego, Jacksonville and the Jets.