Today's firing of Carolina Panthers GM, Marty Hurney, was not only unexpected, but it also set a new precedent for when a team may fire their head of personnel. With the firing, we're wondering who else may be on the hot seat around the league. Here's the general managers that are suddenly in danger of being fired mid-season.
Scott Pioli, Kansas City Chiefs: Since taking over as the Chiefs top personnel man, his team has been consistently mediocre, and more recently, the Chiefs have declined to just plain terrible. To top it all off, former Chiefs head coach Todd Haley accused Pioli and the Chiefs of spying on him in his office. Don't be surprised if Pioli doesn't make it to the end of the season as the general manager of the Chiefs.
Gene Smith, Jacksonville Jaguars: If Scott Pioli has the greatest chance of being fired during the season, Gene Smith comes in a at a close second. Since taking over the Jaguars personnel department in 2009, the team has gone from completely average to bottom of the barrel bad. This is the man that was charged with the rebuilding of the Jaguars, and he's failed miserably. Unless the Jaguars turn it around in the very near future, Smith will be gone at the end of the year, if not sooner.
Mark Dominik, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Like many of the general managers on this list, Dominik's team simply hasn't progressed in the right direction since he took over in 2009, and fans are getting restless with the apparent talent vacuum that exists in Tampa Bay. There remains a strong possibility that he'll get another year to prove himself, but don't be surprised if that opportunity is denied by ownership.
Jeff Ireland, Miami Dolphins: Jeff Ireland may be the most hated general manager in the NFL, but his stock has risen this season as the Dolphins are firmly in the wildcard hunt at 3-3. Still, I can't help getting a feeling that the Dolphins aren't as good as their record indicates, and if things go sour, Ireland could be chased out of town with pitchforks and torches by Miami fans.
A.J. Smith, San Diego Chargers: The Chargers are once again underperforming in a division they should be leading without a problem. Their most recent failure came in the form of giving up a huge 24 point lead to the Broncos. A.J. Smith has had a decade to put together a Super Bowl winning team, but the team has been in a slow but steady decline over the past few seasons. It's playoffs or bust for Smith, and at 3-3, it's looking more like bust than playoffs.