Panthers promote former linebacker, assistant GM Dan Morgan to general manager, president of football operations

The Carolina Panthers have hired Dan Morgan as their general manager and president of football operations.

The Panthers announced the decision Monday. Morgan played linebacker for seven seasons with the Panthers and rejoined the franchise in 2021 as the assistant to then-general manager Scott Fitterer. The Panthers fired Fitterer in January on the heels of a 2-15 season.

From Panthers Pro Bowler to general manager

Morgan joined the Panthers as a first-round pick out of Miami in the 2001 NFL Draft. He played his entire NFL career in Carolina, including for the 2003 team that made the franchise's first Super Bowl. He earned a Pro Bowl berth after the 2004 season.

After retiring as a player in 2007, Morgan joined the Seattle Seahawks as a player scout in 2010. He spent eight seasons in Seattle's front office, his last three as the director of pro personnel overseeing pro scouting efforts.

Dan Morgan, seen here during his playing days with the Panthers in 2005. (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Dan Morgan, seen here during his playing days with the Panthers in 2005. (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) (Scott Cunningham via Getty Images)

In 2018, Morgan joined the Buffalo Bills as the director of player personnel. He held the position for three seasons before rejoining the Panthers in 2021 as assistant general manager.

Can Morgan turn the Panthers' fortunes for the better?

Morgan takes over the front office of a franchise at a crossroads on the heels of a tumultuous 2023 campaign. Carolina is less than a year removed from trading a package including two first-round picks and wide receiver DJ Moore to the Chicago Bears for the No. 1 pick in last season's draft.

The Panthers used that pick to select quarterback Bryce Young, who struggled in his first NFL season. They chose Young over C.J. Stroud, who went on to lead the the Houston Texans to the playoffs in a breakout rookie season that's expected to earn him Rookie of the Year honors. Meanwhile, Moore had a career season in Chicago.

The Panthers won't have a first-round pick in Morgan's first year running the front office. That pick belongs to the Bears as part of the Young trade, and it's the first overall selection after Carolina posted the worst record in the league in 2023.

Owner David Tepper fired Fitterer in January, weeks after firing head coach Frank Reich 11 games into his first season in the position. Tepper's next decision will be to hire a head coach to replace Reich. It's unclear how involved Morgan will be in that decision.

Tepper made headlines of his own in 2023, most notably for throwing a drink from his luxury box onto Jaguars fans in the stands during a game in Jacksonville. Pressure is mounting on him to turn the franchise around.