The Carolina Panthers have fired general manager Marty Hurney, the team announced Monday morning.
Hurney has been the general manager with the team since 2002, but his seat has become hotter since the 2010 season when the Panthers went 2-14.
From 2002-2009, the Panthers had three playoff appearances, including two NFC Championship games and one Super Bowl appearance. But since 2010, the team has had the fewest wins in the NFL with nine.
"This was an extremely difficult decision," said team owner/founder Jerry Richardson in a statement. "Marty made every effort to bring success to the Panthers and took the team to a Super Bowl and two NFC championship games. Unfortunately, we have not enjoyed the success we hoped for in recent years. I have the greatest respect and admiration for Marty and will always appreciate the way he tirelessly served the organization."
The Panthers stand at 1-5 this season after falling at home to the Dallas Cowboys, 19-14, on Sunday. The team has lost four games this season by six points or less.
"I am very fortunate to have been a part of one of the best organizations in the NFL since 1998," Hurney said in a statement. "As general manager I will always regret not helping us win the Super Bowl or having back-to-back winning seasons. I hope this change starts accomplishing the direction to those goals.
"I understand this decision by Mr. Richardson and will always have an extremely close relationship with him. I consider him the best owner in the NFL. I am responsible for everybody in coaching, the players, the scouts and everybody in football operations. After six weeks, we are 1-5 coming off a 6-10 season."
In an interview with the Observer earlier this month when the Panthers were 1-4, Hurney told columnist Tom Sorensen that he's the person responsible for the product on the field.
Im a better general manager today than when we went to the Super Bowl or we went to the NFL championship or we went 12-4, says Hurney. I know more. But the bottom line is the record is not good enough, its unacceptable.
Hurney has been working without a contract so the team is under not obligation to pay him a buyout. A Panthers spokesman said there is no news conference scheduled at this time.
The Panthers are not expected to name an acting GM, a team spokesman said. The rest of the front office and the scouting department is expected to remain intact for the time being.
Some players reacted strongly to the news of Hurney's firing.
Defensive end Charles Johnson went on Twitter to denounce the move.
"Marty wasn't the reason we are losing! That's bs! Unbelievable!" Johnson posted on his Twitter feed. "Marty might be the realist GM that I know. BS BS BS BS!"
Veteran wideout Steve Smith said he's always respected Hurney as a general manager and a man.
Hurney's record with first-round draft choices was solid and includes Julius Peppers, Jordan Gross, Chris Gamble, Thomas Davis, DeAngelo Williams, Jon Beason, Jonathan Stewart, Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly.
His second-round record, however, didn't produce the desired impact. Only four of Hurney's second-round picks remain with the Panthers -- Ryan Kalil, Sherrod Martin, Jimmy Clausen and Amini Silatolu.
Among Hurney's most controversial decisions was trading a second-round in 2010 in order to draft Appalachian State star Armanti Edwards in the third round. The second-round pick wound up being the 33rd overall choice.
Hurney orchestrated the signing spree in late July, 2011 after the lockout ended. It included signing running back DeAngelo Williams to a five-year, $43-million extension and giving defensive end Charles Johnson a six-year, $72-million extension. He also cut veteran kicker John Kasay in favor of free agent Olindo Mare, who was released after one season.
Earlier this year, the Panthers gave running back Jonathan Stewart a five-year, $36.5-million extension.