BREAKING NEWS: Panthers fire GM Marty Hurney

If the Carolina Panthers are going to become the second team to start 1-5 and make it to the playoffs, it won't be under General Manager Marty Hurney.

Hurney was relieved of his duties early Monday morning, the team announced. He had served as the team's GM since 2002.

"I am very fortunate to have been a part of one of the best organizations in the NFL since 1998," Hurney said. "As general manager, I will always regret not helping us win the Super Bowl or having back-to-back winning seasons. I hope this change starts accomplishing the direction to those goals."

During Hurney's tenure, Carolina advanced to its first and only Super Bowl (XXXVIII) against the New England Patriots on Feb. 1, 2004.

The Panthers fell on that contest, 32-29.

Carolina also made it to a second NFC title game two seasons later.

Panthers Owner and Founder Jerry Richardson said the decision to let his long-time general manager go was a difficult one.

"Marty made every effort to bring success to the Panthers and took the team to a Super Bowl and two NFC championship games," Richardson said. "Unfortunately, we have not enjoyed the success we hoped for in recent years. I have the greatest respect and admiration for Marty and will always appreciate the way he tirelessly served the organization."

Hurney said he has come to terms with the team's move due to a lack of performance on the field.

"I understand this decision by Mr. Richardson and will always have an extremely close relationship with him," he said. "I consider him the best owner in the NFL. I am responsible for everybody in coaching, the players, the scouts and everybody in football operations. After six weeks, we are 1-5 coming off a 6-10 season."