You have to remember this isn't the Hurney special treatment for long time players anymore. Gettleman is here to change the Panthers into a winning team, and will evaluate every single person on that team. This is just like any other business, don't get friendly with the bosses and not be ready to get the axe if you can't perform when needed, even if your a vet or a long time panther.
With that being said, there is no way possible that Smitty wouldn't be on this team next year, Gettleman put it out to the public more so that its well known to EVERYONE that he is expecting everyone to be accountable.
Let me ask you all this, would you rather us have the repeated history we have now, or have repeated success like the Patriots (my blood boils typing that) do, with the 'next man up' mentality? It has seemed to work out very well for them in the past 10 years overall, with the Superbowl wins and consistent playoff births.