Biggest takeaways from the Panthers’ promotion of new GM Dan Morgan

On Monday, the Carolina Panthers did the expected by knocking off the “assistant” label from assistant general manager Dan Morgan’s title. So, what could their decision tell us about their present and immediate future?

Here are three takeaways from the latest development at 800 South Mint Street:

On board with Bryce

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Morgan has the credentials to lead a front office, especially as a talent evaluator. The former linebacker, who worked his way up into director of pro and player personnel roles, was a well-respected and highly-valuable member of two very successful front offices in Seattle and Buffalo.

But the most important credential he carried into this offseason may be his support of quarterback Bryce Young.

Owner David Tepper has hitched his wagon to the 22-year-old passer. Not only did his organization draft Young atop the 2023 NFL draft, but they mortgaged an expensive chunk of their future to get into a position to do so.

No one will be on board in Charlotte if they’re not on board with Bryce.

So it should be safe to assume that Morgan, who was in the room when those monumental decisions were made, has a favorable outlook and a promising vision of Young.

Power duo?

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers were awfully specific in their official announcement of Morgan’s promotion. Here’s a taste from the top:

The Panthers named Dan Morgan the team’s President of Football Operations/General Manager on Monday, as part of a restructuring of the front office that sees the former linebacker take over the personnel operation.

In addition to the dual title, the “personnel operation” part should raise some intrigue. With Morgan expected to lead the charge on personnel, his assistant general manager (whoever that may ultimately be) might have a more focused role than your run-of-the-mill general manager.

According to Joe Person of The Athletic and Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, the Panthers are expected to hire another previously-interviewed candidate to head the salary cap and analytics side of the front office. As of now, the favorite to pair with Morgan seems to be Kansas City Chiefs vice president of football operations Brandt Tilis.

Be prepared for another key addition to the braintrust as the Panthers continue to “restructure” their front office.

First big decision

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The first big decision Morgan’s Panthers will have to make is, of course, landing on a new head coach. Let’s make some connections then, shall we?

Heading into Tuesday, the Panthers have reportedly sought out second interviews with at least four candidates—defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dave Canales and Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan. But now that Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan is about to be Tennessee Titans head coach Brian Callahan, we’re back down to three at the moment.

Of the three, Morgan has links to two—Evero and Canales.

Just as they did with their general manager, the Panthers could stay in-house and promote Evero to the head-coaching position. He’s been extremely successful as a play-caller and is an acclaimed leader of men.

Canales, on the other hand, fits the bill of what Tepper seemingly wants. In addition to being a rising offensive mind, he has ties to Morgan from Seattle—where they both started their NFL behind-the-scenes journeys in 2010.

Thanks to a Divisional Round win over Canales’ Bucs, the favorite in Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson now cannot be interviewed until Jan. 29. But the catch about Carolina’s reported “top candidate” is that he’s also the top candidate for the Washington Commanders’ opening.

If Johnson is too far to reach once again, perhaps the Panthers and Morgan could be rolling with Canales as their head coach and—barring a surprising move from the outside—Evero as their defensive coordinator.

[lawrence-related id=689683,689485,689677]

Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire