Panthers promote ex-LB Morgan to GM position

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers on Monday completed the first step in their rebuilding process by promoting Dan Morgan to president of football operations/general manager.

Morgan, 45, was the assistant general manager under Scott Fitterer, who was fired after the Panthers’ league-worst 2-15 season. He also spent seven seasons as a linebacker for the Panthers after being selected in the first round of the 2001 draft (11th overall) out of Miami.

His new title represents a complete restructuring of the front office.

“Dan has a thorough knowledge of our football personnel and a clear vision to take us where we all want to go,” Carolina owner David Tepper said in a statement. “We know he will attack this opportunity with the same intensity he did as a Panthers player.”

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Morgan already has been actively involved in the search for a new head coach, which Monday entered the second phase with Carolina defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero getting an in-person interview, per league source.

The Panthers also are scheduled to have in-person interviews this week with Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan, Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dave Canales and Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, according to sources.

Morgan worked with Canales in Seattle when he was the director of pro personnel and Canales was the wide receivers coach. Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, who entered the search as the leading candidate, can’t be interviewed until after Sunday’s NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers. The same goes for Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Todd Monken and defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald, whose team is playing in the AFC Championship Game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

All had virtual interviews with Carolina last week.

But getting a general manager in place was the first step, and Morgan emerged after a second round of interviews that also included New York Giants assistant GM Brandon Brown and Philadelphia Eagles assistant GM Alex Halaby, according to a league source.

The Panthers hope Morgan’s experience as a player and executive will help turn around a franchise that has had six consecutive losing seasons since Tepper purchased the franchise. Morgan was a player at Carolina during its 2003 Super Bowl run and the assistant director of pro personnel with Seattle when the Seahawks won the Super Bowl after the 2013 season.

Morgan also was the director of player personnel for the Buffalo Bills (2018-2020) when Josh Allen was made the seventh pick of the 2018 draft.

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