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Panthers hire Dan Morgan as new general manager/president of football operations

A legacy member of the Panthers has ascended to the front office throne in Charlotte.

Carolina has hired Dan Morgan as the team's new president of football operations and general manager on Monday, making the move official via an early evening announcement.

Morgan is intimately familiar with all things Panthers, having joined the club as a first-round selection out of the University of Miami in 2001 and spending seven seasons with the team as a Pro Bowl-caliber linebacker who played a key role on the 2003 NFC championship squad, tallying 18 tackles in Super Bowl XXXVIII. A player personnel-focused career saw him return to the Panthers in 2021 as assistant GM under Scott Fitterer, preceding his Monday promotion to the top job.

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

Monday's decision was not a simple elevation of a franchise hero with the goal of winning headlines. Morgan has worked in the personnel side of the NFL since 2010, when he joined the Seattle Seahawks as a scouting intern, and quickly rose to the role of assistant director of pro personnel, a role he fulfilled through 2014 before being promoted again to director of pro personnel. He left Seattle in 2018 to head east to Buffalo, working under GM Brandon Beane as director of player personnel before returning to Charlotte in 2021.

His latest elevation comes as part of a front office restructuring initiated by Tepper, whose frustration with Carolina's lack of improvement saw him fire coach Frank Reich during the 2023 season and part with Fitterer at the conclusion of the campaign. With this hire, Tepper is aiming to place Morgan -- who has already been involved in multiple head coach interviews with the Panthers in 2024 and has cultivated plenty of goodwill with the remaining scouting personnel in Charlotte -- in a position in which he can rely on his past as a player to connect with the members of the Panthers roster and build Carolina into a respectable club fitting of the reputation he's established in his own career.

Carolina's reputation certainly could use some rehabilitation. The Panthers have been a directionless club in the last few years, floating through the Matt Rhule era before faceplanting under Reich. If ever there were a time to right the ship, it's now, and Morgan is the captain selected to lead the turnaround.

Morgan's promotion marks the third internal promotion of this hiring cycle, joining the likes of new Patriots coach Jerod Mayo and Raiders coach Antonio Pierce as existing employees moved into permanent and prominent roles. Though his reputation as a beloved member of a past Panthers era will earn him an initial boost, ultimately, he'll be judged by the work he accomplishes, and how the Panthers perform in the next few years ahead.

Such a process begins with selecting a coach capable of getting quarterback Bryce Young back on track in his development -- and it's far from the only item on a long checklist that was officially given to Morgan on Monday.

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