Gettleman answered the Smith question exactly like he should have. EVERY player is being evaluated....should they be upgraded, are they playing at a level comensurate with their salary/cap, etc
Gett is showing that everyone has to produce at a level that warrants their pay (no exceptions)....and this is the right thing to do.
If G-man answered the question exactly like he should have, then it wouldn't have gotten as big as it did. Why everyone is just trying to discount having some tact and wisdom is beyond me, but, hey, it is what it is.
I am steadfast in my opinion that G-man should have said something to this effect:
"Smitty has been an invaluable member of the Carolina Panthers. Going forward he is part of the puzzle. Next question."
No one has yet to tell me how what he said is a better answer than what I said. You know why, because frankly it's not. The answer above suggests that Smitty is an important part going forward, buy doesn't commit to him being a part going forward. More importantly, it doesn't mention Smith like he is in the past tense. None of that. It's being truthful, but leaves latitude. It doesn't paint yourself into a corner, and in fact doesn't leave a reporter any wiggle room because it can be repeated if necessary (and as necessary). Furthermore, it speaks for itself.
Just because you are a straight-shooter and have a right to say something any way you want, doesn't mean that you should say something any way you want. This is especially true when dealing with delicate issues like people's jobs and lives. To me, it's common sense, but from people's responses maybe it's not so common.
And, for the record (again), I love the way G-man has handles his business overall, but that doesn't mean that the man is perfect. People should stop trying to treat him as though he is.