Report: Washington names Marty Hurney, who used to cover the team, as its general manager

Eric Edholm
·3 min read

Three decades ago, Marty Hurney got his NFL start in the public relations office of the Washington Football Team. Prior to that, he covered the franchise as a newspaper man for four years. Now, Washington reportedly has named Hurney as its newest general manager.

According to NFL Network, Hurney will follow his former head coach, Ron Rivera, up the coast from the Carolina Panthers to Washington.

Hurney, 65, was fired — for a second time — by the Panthers in December after Carolina went 4-10. He rejoined the team in 2017 as interim GM after Dave Gettleman was let go that year. Hurney originally joined the Panthers in 1998, first as director of football administration, then as director of player operations.

In 2002, Hurney was named Panthers GM for the first time. Under his watch, the franchise made its first Super Bowl in the 2003 season, reached the NFC title game again in the 2005 season and was the NFC’s No. 2 seed in 2008.

It was clear under new ownership that Hurney and the new regime didn’t see eye-to-eye on how to run personnel.

“Listen, Marty is a little more traditional, and I’m a little more data-driven and analytical,” Panthers owner David Tepper said in December.

Hurney got his professional start in journalism. He covered Washington in the 1980s with the Washington Times before being hired by the team in public relations by then-owner Jack Kent Cooke. When Bobby Beathard left the franchise in 1990 to be the San Diego Chargers’ GM, he brought Hurney with him as his assistant GM.

Former Carolina Panthers general manager Marty Hurney, front, rejoins Ron Rivera, back, with the Washington Football Team. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Former Carolina Panthers general manager Marty Hurney, front, rejoins Ron Rivera, back, with the Washington Football Team. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Hurney and Rivera worked well together during their seven years together in Carolina. Kyle Smith, Washington’s vice president of player personnel (and de facto GM with Rivera), was not interviewed for the top role despite spending the past 11 years with the franchise. It’s not known what Smith’s role might be now.

Before hiring Hurney, Washington also spoke with for the GM spot: San Francisco 49ers vice president of player personnel and former Detroit Lions GM Martin Mayhew, Tennessee Titans vice president of player personnel Ryan Cowden, Chargers director of player personnel JoJo Wooden, Washington director of pro personnel Eric Stokes and Falcons director of football operations Nick Polk.

Rivera appears to wield a lot of power in Washington. He has brought a slew of coaches, scouts and operational employees from Carolina and maintains a lot of personnel say in addition to his head-coaching duties.

The Washington Football Team won the NFC East at 7-9 this season — despite a lot of turmoil on the way — and lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the opening round of the playoffs. Washington selects 19th overall in Round 1 of the 2021 draft. One of Hurney’s hallmarks during his time in Carolina was his success with first-round picks than many of his contemporaries.

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