Making the anticipated move to fire Scott Fitterer, the Panthers are joining other teams in sending out interview requests. Three have gone out as of Monday afternoon.
The Panthers want to meet with Giants assistant GM Brandon Brown, Buccaneers assistant GM Mike Greenberg and Chiefs VP of football operations Brandt Tilis, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero and Peter Schrager. While assistant Carolina GM Dan Morgan will have a chance to succeed Fitterer, David Tepper is hoping to bring in a handful of outside candidates.
Tepper’s actions in recent months and his general reputation during his ownership run introduce complications for his latest round of hires. But he remains the NFL’s second-wealthiest owner. That component may be important given the state of the Panthers, who do not have their first-round pick this year or their 2025 second-rounder due to the Bryce Young trade. As is the case for HC positions, there are only 32 GM jobs available. That will at least bring candidates to the table.
Tepper has already met with Tilis, who interviewed for the GM job in 2021. The Panthers conducted an expansive search that year, choosing Fitterer, who had enjoyed a successful run as a Seahawks exec. Fitterer did not have full control until Tepper fired Matt Rhule in October 2022, and the owner has referenced his own willingness to veto moves, pointing to Carolina’s GM having to contend with ownership as well. It is not known how Tepper plans to structure his next staff, in terms of handing power to the GM or head coach. That is among the notable questions Carolina faces this offseason.
As for the candidates, Tilis joins Chiefs assistant GM Mike Borgonzi in receiving early interview requests. Both have been with the team throughout its Patrick Mahomes-era rise. Tilis was a central figure in the Chiefs hammering out Mahomes’ outlier 10-year extension back in 2020, researching baseball contracts before the team came to terms with its centerpiece player on that landmark deal. The Chiefs have already needed to adjust that contract, due to the quarterback market accelerating in the years since that July 2020 extension. Tilis even predates Andy Reid in Kansas City, joining the team to start Scott Pioli‘s GM tenure back in 2009. Tilis has been in his current position since 2021.
Greenberg joins Tilis in being in his 14th season with his current employer. The Bucs exec is best known for helping the team navigate its salary cap, something that became pivotal during an all-in push centered around Tom Brady. Tampa Bay completed numerous restructures and became a piece of NFL transaction lore in 2021 by retaining its entire starting lineup plus notable backups in an effort to defend a Super Bowl title. While the Bucs could not complete that effort on the field, Greenberg’s work — which included Brady’s initial agreement, a subsequent extension and a post-retirement restructure — helped considerably. The Bucs promoted Greenberg to assistant GM last year.
The Giants hired Brown to be Joe Schoen‘s right-hand man in 2022, an offseason that featured four Eagles execs become assistant GMs elsewhere. Just 36, Brown spent five years with the Eagles, beginning his run with the team ahead of its Super Bowl LII-winning season. Howie Roseman promoted Brown to player personnel director in 2021, putting him on the radar for top lieutenant roles the following year.
Additionally, the Panthers may have their eye on another NFC South exec. Khai Harley, whom the Saints elevated to assistant GM this past offseason, is believed to be on Carolina’s radar, per ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler. Harley has helped Mickey Loomis as the team annually comes up with creative ways to free up salary cap space, being the NFL’s restructure kingpins.