The Carolina Panthers pulled the trigger on the first front office firing of the 2012 NFL season when they announced on Monday that Marty Hurney had been fired as the team's general manager. The Panthers have been among the NFL's worst team for some time, and even after last season's resurgence with No. 1 choice Cam Newton, the team has regressed in 2012.
But the firing of that sort typically leads to a domino effect. There are several teams with miserable fan bases at this point in the season, and it's likely that Hurney is not the only GM fired this year. The Browns have already announced some changes that will take place after the season -- namely that Mike Holmgren will leave at season's end. But the Chiefs and Jags are also in that category of one-win teams in the NFL through Week 7. Could those names be on the hot seat as well?
It's interesting to note that Gene Smith earned a recent 3-year extension in the offseason with the Jags. Will that earn him some leeway for another season at the helm? Will the new owner even care and oust him anyway? At this point, he's definitely feeling the hot seat.
As for the Chiefs, the fans have already taken to the skies, literally, to put up a banner that calls for Clark Hunt to make changes to the front office. Scott Pioli has granted interviews in the last week, and he has answered questions with admissions that he holds the responsibility for the team's current 1-5 record. He's definitely another GM on the hot seat.
A team that changes things around earlier than others will have more time to evaluate potential candidates, interview options and plan for the road ahead. The Chiefs have been behind in recent years, like when they hired Brian Daboll to run the offense in what seemed like the final hire of the offseason when few other candidates remained.
It will be interesting to see if any changes are made in Kansas City and, if so, when those changes will be made. The Panthers made the first move of the season. Who is next?