It's one thing to cut a 35 year old receiver. It's another thing entirely to start the conversation in public, decide not to offer a restructured contract (which presumably would have taken care of 2015 and 2016), and cut him like a third string kicker. This is especially true when it's obvious that, to paraphras, "The answer is NOT on the roster."
There are so many ways the organization could have handled it better that it's hard not to think there was a message being sent somewhere. Although, it could just be that the current front office is kind of tone-deaf about how to treat star players.
Last year Gettleman basically told Jordan Gross that he had to restructure, and cut his pay in half (less than that actually). Gross decided to retire rather than come back and play another year, and from his play last year he has another year or two left in him. GMan took forever to answer a simple question, "Is Cam Newton the kind of player you build around?" And when he did, he was quick to throw in a caveat about it being time to win. He did the same cap stuff that other GMs around the league do every year, and we cheered him for it because all we've heard about is how horrible our contract situation is. He had what looks like a great draft. He did a good job bringing in talent and depth, and let's hope that becomes a trademark skill of his because he seems to have let most of it go already, but that's another topic.
So basically, he's doing a good job with the money, the draft, and patching holes. But now we've got one of the biggest holes on the team we've ever seen, and our GM hasn't really shown a ton of people skills with players we have come to love over the years.
No wonder people are upset.