OK, I mainly posted this for the thread title.
If nothing else Michael Silver of nfl.com reports that some of the players have a wait-and-see attitude regarding G-man's moves right now. Some people in the organization, though "mystified" by what's going on here, are giving G-man the benefit of the doubt due to his success this past year. Fans, especially us hardcore Huddlers, should probably be doing the same.
But, keep in mind, that they aren't giving G-man a blank check.
Sometimes you feel like McNutt; sometimes you don't. And sometimes, as a first-time general manager eager to put your stamp on a team -- and now saddled with a newly extended coach in Ron Riverawho you might not have wanted in the first place -- you decide to make your presence felt by clearing out the most forceful and influential player in the locker room. That sure seems to be what happened here.
OK, so I am supposed to believe that G-man fired Smitty out of some subliminal frustration at being saddled down with Rivera and some latent need to exercise his authority?
Of course the subconscious mind is a muthafuga sometimes...
Anyway, just surmising from the twitter quote that popped up a couple of days ago, my guess is that the "veteran player" that he must be referring to is T.D. I doubt that Cam and Luke, who have been publicly mute, would have even spoken to a reporter off the record.
I'm not sure whether Newton, who on Wednesday underwent ankle surgery that will sideline him for four months, is privately grumbling about this, if he's down with the plan or if he's somewhere in between. For what it's worth, while some in the organization have indicated to me that they're mystified by the move, I talked to one veteran Panthers player who did his best to quell the sky is falling storyline.
Said the player: "The mood in the locker room is this: Guys are happy with what the GM did last year, in terms of the players he drafted and free agents he brought in for positions of serious concern. So it's hard to be quick to jump on the 'Panthers have no receivers, they are screwed' (bandwagon). He's done a good job thus far, so we're not gonna question him. That said, talk to me in August."