Panthers get wise in G.M. search

At long last, there’s an end to the silence that has come out of the Carolina Panthers since the firing of general manager Marty Hurney in October.

The team announced that former Browns and Giants general manager Ernie Acorsi will act as a consultant as the team searches for a new general manager. I think it’s also safe to assume that owner Jerry Richardson will give heavy consideration to what Acorsi thinks about coach Ron Rivera and his staff.

Getting a veteran like Acorsi, who is well connected in league circles, is probably the smartest thing Richardson can do right now. Acorsi has a reputation for being thorough, fair and open minded. Since retiring from the Giants, Acorsi has worked as a consultant for other teams. He was part of the process when Atlanta hired general manager Thomas Dimitroff in 2008.

There are a lot of decisions to be made on the front-office side as well as the coaching staff and it remains to be seen if Richardson wants to try an untested rising star or go with someone with experience as a general manager.

But it’s likely Acorsi will look at candidates from both categories, narrow down a list and then present it to Richardson, who ultimately will have to make one of the biggest decisions he’s ever made as an NFL owner. Then, he may have to make another one if he doesn’t believe Rivera is the long-term answer.