Let me start this off by saying, there is almost a zero percent chance this will happen. That being said, this would be a ballsy move the Jacksonville Jaguars should absolutely make.
Dave Gettleman was fired today by the Carolina Panthers, who parted ways with Gettleman for reasons that have not been relayed to the public yet. Speculation would assume that Gettleman, and others in management had enough disagreements on certain issues that they decided the best thing to do was part ways with the 66 year old general manager.
Gettleman was named the Panthers’ general manager in 2013, the same year Dave Caldwell was named to the same position for the Jaguars. In the time since, the Panthers have gone 40-23-1, including a Super Bowl appearance, and three division titles. In that same time, the Jaguars have gone 15-49. In fact, the Panthers worsts season Gettleman's tenure, where they went 6-10, was a better record than the Jaguars have had during any season in Caldwell's tenure.
While one can say Gettleman inherited a roster with the likes of Cam Newton, Luke Kuechley, Thomas Davis, Jonathon Stewart, and Matt Khalil, the Panthers were also in salary cap hell in 2013. Gettleman was able to get the team out of that hell with low key signings, and a good draft record over his time there.
The 2015 Panthers roster that went to the Super Bowl had its share of stars, including Cam Newton and his MVP season. However, one of the most impressive parts of the roster was the guys they got on the fringes, who helped fill holes on the roster reasonably well. Some fo those guys included Michael Oher, Ted Ginn Jr, Ed Dickson, Jerricho Cotchery, Kurt Coleman, and Charles Tillman.
While none of these names impress, finding guys like this on the cheap that can contribute, especially when the Panthers had no other choice because of their cap situation, is impressive. A GM who can make more out of less is a valuable piece to a franchise.
Somehow, Caldwell has outlasted Gettleman as a general manager. I would have liked to know the odds on that one a year ago.
Guys who have had the success Gettleman has had don't come available very often, and the Jaguars should jump on the opportunity to grab him. Gettleman is a perfect fit, as he served as the Director of Player Personal under Tom Coughlin from 2004-2013 with the Giants.
Yes, this wouldn't be the best look to let go of Caldwell right now. And yes, Caldwell would probably have the right to be upset about it. However, even the biggest Caldwell supporter could admit he hasn't made himself irreplaceable in his job. Even if you are higher on him than I am, there is no argument to be made that he has been more successful than Gettleman.
Teams have to make tough decisions sometimes. Sometimes in order to be great, you have to be willing to take a chance, and hurt some peoples feelings. General managers do this all the time, when they cut older players who may be long time fan favorites, but aren't earning their worth anymore. The Jaguars should do the same with Caldwell, and realize the opportunity they have with an executive like Gettleman.
Let me give an example that is relatable. There was much debate over who the Jaguars should draft in the first round of the draft this year. It was a hard decision, especially because the Jaguars already had Chris Ivory and TJ Yeldon at running back. While Ivory and Yeldon were coming off down years, they weren't terrible players. In fact, one could argue Ivory is probably league average. Even though they would have been fine if they didn't address the running back position, the Jaguars drafted Leonard Fournette. They didn't do this because they didn't like Ivory, but because they felt Fournette had the opportunity to be game changing. The felt Fournette had the opportunity to be so good, they couldn't pass up on it, even though Fournette seems completely redundant with Ivory on the roster.
The same situation applies here for their general manager spot. Maybe Caldwell is better than I think, but Gettleman could really be the guy who turns this team around. He has proven he can be successful in this league, and in 4 years, Caldwell has yet to prove that.
Yes, it would be a risk. Yes, it may look bad public relations wise to fire your current general manager in July to hire someone else. Well, when your team has won 17 games in 5 seasons, you need to take chances. Gettleman would give another fresh pair of eyes on the roster, and would also be a better judge than Caldwell on Blake Bortles, because he has no ties to drafting him.
Gettleman, and even John Dorsey, the former Chiefs general manager, will be able to look at many different jobs openings next offseason, as they will no doubt be coveted by teams. The Jaguars can't chance that they will be the best option available if they are interested next offseason, which means they should jump on the opportunity right now. Give Gettleman an offer he can't refuse, and make it a tough choice for him to wait a whole offseason. Good teams jump on opportunities like this, and the Jaguars have a chance to get a proven talent evaluator who has experience with Coughlin. Could the fit be even more perfect?
The Jaguars have a chance to improve their front office. Good organizations, good businesses, are always looking for ways to improve, and ways to adapt. The Jaguars would be foolish to not at least test the waters on Gettleman, and at least offer him a job in the front office.
Dave Caldwell has no leash to me at this point, and if someone comes along who is better, the Jaguars are doing themselves a disservice my not giving that person a shot.
So what do you think? Would you hire Dave Gettleman if you are the Jaguars? Would you keep Dave Caldwell?
Let us know what you think in the comment section.