Be careful what you wish for.
That would be my message to Kansas City Chiefs owner Clark Hunt and his counterpart Jerry Richardson of the Carolina Panthers in the wake of their surprising firings of general managers John Dorsey and Dave Gettleman, respectively, over the past month.
Both moves are proof of surprising dysfunction within both organizations and set very dangerous precedents for any men that are picked to lead those organizations moving forward. For the time being, that is the newly-hired Brett Veach in KC and Marty Hurney in Carolina, the latter having the role on an "interim" basis for the 2017 season.
Let's start with the dysfunction. This is not up for debate. Any time you fire your general manager in the summer, especially after each exec made significant moves in the offseason to prepare the roster for 2017 and beyond, there is something amiss.
When you make these moves shortly after losing your best in-house candidate to replace them, it makes things even worse. That was the case in both places, as Chris Ballard left Kansas City for the Colts, while Brandon Beane got hired away from Carolina to be the next general manager of the Buffalo Bills a few weeks after the NFL Draft.
It's probably also a good time to mention that Dorsey and Gettleman were both universally praised and respected around the NFL for the jobs they had done over the past four years for each franchise. Neither man was perfect, but both were generally outstanding during their tenures to the point where each guy's name would usually be found in any listing of the top ten executives in the NFL.
What is perhaps even more concerning moving forward for both teams is the very clear message being sent by the owners regarding the handling of star players.
In Kansas City, the primary football reason reported for Dorsey's termination was his decisions to wait before doling out big contracts to star players like Justin Houston and Eric Berry. In both instances, the player ended up performing very well and ultimately costing the Chiefs more money and cap space.
It's a fair critique, but hardly a fireable offense. Not to mention there were reasons in both instances for Dorsey to take his time and be 100 percent sure before offering a lucrative enough deal for the player to sign.
Dorsey essentially got fired in large part for being overly cautious with Hunt's money. You think Veach doesn't realize this?
That doesn't mean Veach will be handing out big deals like they are candy, but if he is on the fence about inking a player to a big contract extension, which way do you think he'll lean? Certainly not toward being careful, that's for sure. Not after what happened to Dorsey.
A similar thing played out in Carolina where Richardson fired Gettleman in large part because of the bad feelings that existed between some current and former star Panthers players and Gettleman.
Former Panthers like Steve Smith and DeAngelo Williams took to twitter immediately to delight in the Gettleman news. Both players had outstanding careers in Carolina before Gettleman decided it was time to move in a different direction.
There are also plenty of rumblings that current stars Thomas Davis and Greg Olson, both of whom are among Richardson's favorite all-time Panthers and are looking for new deals, are unhappy with the pace of negotiations. Davis is 34 and is entering the final year left on his contract, while Olson is 32 and still has two years remaining on the contract he signed back in 2015.
History shows that giving extensions to older players with years left on their contract rarely works out well for the organization. Ditto for hanging on to a longtime star like Smith or Williams for an extra year or two for sentimental reasons, even though you no longer believe they are worth the money they are due.
Apparently, Richardson either doesn't know or care that Gettleman was being prudent with the future of the franchise. He just couldn't stomach having some of the franchise's all-time greats having a bad taste in their mouth regarding the organization.
That's a heck of a message for the next GM the Panthers end up hiring after Hurney: If you value your job, make sure the long-time Panthers are happy, even if you don't think it's in the best interest of building the football team.
There are also some whispers that neither Dorsey nor Gettleman handled the "management" aspect of their jobs as well as they should have, but if that's the case how would that not have come up as a major issue until now?
And even if there is some truth to it, whatever their shortcomings were, it wasn't enough to derail the teams from having on-field success in recent years.
At a minimum, the bar has been set high for Veach and Hurney to try to manage the rosters as well as their predecessors did.
Having to do so under the confines of the dangerous precedents set by their owners will only make those jobs even tougher.