CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Carolina Panthers announced Monday that general manager Dave Gettleman has been relieved of his duties.

The news comes eight days before the Panthers open training camp at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

“After much thought and a long evaluation of our football operations, I have decided to relieve Dave Gettleman of his duties as general manager,” team owner and founder Jerry Richardson said. “I want to thank Dave for the role he played in our success over the past four seasons. While the timing of this decision is not ideal, a change is needed.”

Players from the Panthers told NBC Charlotte that they did not foresee the firing.

RELATED: Panthers release 2017 training camp schedule

Gettleman was hired by the Panthers in 2013. He helped lead the team to three consecutive playoff appearances, including an appearance in Super Bowl 50 following the 2015 season. Before joining the Panthers, Gettleman spent nearly 30 years in the NFL, including stints with Buffalo, Denver, and the New York Giants.

The Panthers finished last season with a 6-10 record and missed the postseason for the first time since Gettleman joined the organization.

The timing of the decision was met with skepticism among NFL insiders.

Ongoing contract negotiations with several high-profile players, namely Thomas Davis and Greg Olsen, fueled speculation around Gettleman's dismissal.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Carolina Panthers announced Monday that general manager Dave Gettleman has been relieved of his duties.

The news comes eight days before the Panthers open training camp at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

“After much thought and a long evaluation of our football operations, I have decided to relieve Dave Gettleman of his duties as general manager,” team owner and founder Jerry Richardson said. “I want to thank Dave for the role he played in our success over the past four seasons. While the timing of this decision is not ideal, a change is needed.”

RELATED: Panthers release 2017 training camp schedule

Gettleman was hired by the Panthers in 2013. He helped lead the team to three consecutive playoff appearances, including an appearance in Super Bowl 50 following the 2015 season. Before joining the Panthers, Gettleman spent nearly 30 years in the NFL, including stints with Buffalo, Denver, and the New York Giants.

The Panthers finished last season with a 6-10 record and missed the postseason for the first time since Gettleman joined the organization.

The timing of the decision was met with skepticism among NFL insiders.

Ongoing contract negotiations with several high-profile players, namely Thomas Davis and Greg Olsen, fueled speculation around Gettleman's dismissal.