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December 07, 2010

Carolina Panthers owner Richardson to PSL owners: I take full responsibility

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)


Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson took responsibility for the team's poor record, promised to invest the resources necessary to field a winning team again and said he hasn't talked to the media because comments from ownership are a distraction, in a letter to Panthers PSL (Permanent Seat License) holders.

The following is a copy of Richardson's letter:

I know how difficult the season has been for you. As the person ultimately responsible for putting a team on the field, I take full responsibility for our shortfalls. It is agonizing that we have not performed at the level we had planned for and expected.

When the season began, we believed there was every opportunity for success. Many of the players were returning from a team that had finished last year very strong. The motivation for this approach was both performance-based and a commitment to the future. Obviously we have fallen short, but our faith and commitment are still the same.

Going forward, our plan of attack is to build through the draft while retaining our core players. We have one of the youngest teams in the League, and a number of those younger players have shown genuine promise in this otherwise disappointing season. We won't give up on them. We also have a solid nucleus of veterans that we will seek to keep intact.

I want all of  you to know that we plan to look at every aspect of our organization. What we do in the future will entirely be geared toward putting the best possible team on the field. I am committed to fielding a winning team, and I'm willing to invest the resources necessary to make it happen.

Allow me to raise another personal issue. Much has been made of my reluctance to address the play of the team in the media. Throughout the history of the franchise, I have rarely done in-season interviews. It's just not my style. In my opinion, comments from ownership during the season are a distraction, and I do not want my comments to interfere in any way with the performance on the field.

 This year is further complicated with the uncertainty regarding Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Let me be clear: A successful CBA is critical in sustaining the competitive balance of the NFL. We're all in this together, and what is good for football is good for the continued success of each and every team. It's important for us to reach an agreement that benefits the fans, players, and teams. I want the players paid fairly, and I want us to play winning and exciting football.

 I understand that in a season like this, words can sound hollow, but, as PSL Owners, you have my commitment to provide you a team that will make you proud. With three NFC championship game appearances, we have come close. I can assure you we will be aggressive in getting there again.

 Thank you for your patience and support in a very challenging time.


 Jerry Richardson

-- Posted by Observer staff

Posted by Observer Sports on December 7, 2010 at 07:07 PM | Permalink


Deeds: not words.

Posted by: Justin Case | Dec 7, 2010 7:28:31 PM

I just hope all those who comment can be satisfied with what should have already been clear. This is Jerry's team, we the PSL owners are secondard, albeit in his mind, but he owns the Panthers and reserves the right to take us down the path he sees fit for his business and the NFL. If you are any better then show me where you have the business acumen as JR. I've gone to each game this year and will continue to do so thru good and bad. I knew going into this that there would be these types of years. Just please, hang in there each and every one of you. I want to see this fan base grow into the likes of the GB Packer, NY Giants, & Chicago Bears franchises. We are still young, just like the great U S of A, and with the support through thick and thin we will prevail as a GREAT Franchise.

Posted by: RK | Dec 7, 2010 7:34:03 PM

should have hired Michael Vick instead of worrying about image

Posted by: Stephen | Dec 7, 2010 7:35:36 PM

This is just a warm up letter to let you know he will be raising ticket prices again next year.

Posted by: Matt Crean | Dec 7, 2010 7:35:39 PM

Sure...I bet we would be undefeated with Michael "Dog Killer" Vick.

Posted by: Mark | Dec 7, 2010 7:37:11 PM

Wow, now I feel better about paying higher ticket prices this past year. That makes it all better. How can anyone in their right mind possibly think we had the necessary personnel to have a winning team? You know there is a problem when you have more visiting team fans in your stadium Jerry. I had to take a second look at my surroundings 2 weeks ago when we played Baltimore as I thought I must have travelled north on I95 rather than south. I could have found better things to spend my hard money on rather than this pathetic team you gave us LOYAL fans.

Posted by: armchairqb | Dec 7, 2010 7:40:03 PM

Really JR?

Did you return the check? No.

I think you looked out on the field Saturday night and saw more talent on the field than when the Carolina Panthers play didn't you.

Was that when it bothered you? Was that when you realized you took people's money and gave them nothing in return? What an embarrassment.

Posted by: Not_You | Dec 7, 2010 7:42:47 PM

I still love our Panthers. I have two PSLs. If I could afford more seats I would buy them.

But Jerry and Hurney better be right with their decision making. Dan Snyder has shown every year that trying to build a fantasy football team does not work.

"Deeds not words" is the best way to respond to Jerry. Good job Justin

Posted by: miketc | Dec 7, 2010 7:44:01 PM

Just be glad Richardson isn't related to Mike Brown, who is the Onwner/President/GM of the infamous Cincinnati Bungles. Two winning seasons is TWENTY years and ZERO playoff wins!

Posted by: bubba | Dec 7, 2010 7:57:55 PM

We could also be the cardinals. They suck and are returning to their rightful place in the cellar. Hopefully they beat us though and we can get LUCK.

Posted by: toby gerhart | Dec 7, 2010 8:03:28 PM

How in the world did JR think, "When the season began, we believed there was every opportunity for success"? This organization refused to pursue any legitimate free agents. Not only this year but almost every single year in its existence. The Panthers have passed on Michael Vick, Anquain Boldin, TO, Brandon Lloyd, etc... Mark you're delusional if you think the Panthers would not be a LOT better if Vick was on this team. Undefeated? Probably not. But can any of you imagine how this team would be with Vick, Smitty, any of the WR previously mentioned, and DeAngelo & Stewart in the backfield? I highly doubt they would have only won 1 game so far.

The Panthers draft record is suspect at best. They haven't been able to find another WR in several seasons. They passed on Mike Williams who went to TB in the 3rd round this yr. They picked LaFell in the 2nd. Maybe had they traded their 2nd round pick for Boldin and selected Mike in the 3rd, the WR search would be over?

But hey I'm just a fan who knows nothing other then how to spend my money on a product that has only had 4 winning seasons out of 16. That certainly deserves another increase in ticket prices. After all, JR says he's trying to win so that should be good enough for all of us. lol

Posted by: David I | Dec 7, 2010 8:05:56 PM

As long as they sign some "REAL" free agents and not scrubs and benchwarmers, I'll be a happy camper next year.

Posted by: toby gerhart | Dec 7, 2010 8:10:57 PM

LaFell was drafted in the 3rd round..fyi

Posted by: 21 | Dec 7, 2010 8:18:56 PM

Davidson,offense coordinator has to go, period! The Panthers offense has had been almost too predictable and boring. No screen pass nor reverse or anything creative.

Posted by: frank | Dec 7, 2010 8:21:37 PM

Reading between the lines "build through the draft while retaining our core players...youngest teams in the League...we also have a solid nucleus of veterans that we will seek to keep intact. What we do in the future will entirely be geared toward putting the best possible team on the field."
Best possible team meaning draft, keep young players, seek to keep some veterans. Sounds like George Shinn all over. Sounds like not interested in keeping/going after free agents that are not cheap. It only works for Bob Kraft because he has Belichek & Brady. Welcome to mediocrity, Panther fans.

Posted by: oilmanrr | Dec 7, 2010 8:22:14 PM

The Panthers brain trust is a joke...they take pride in finding guys taken in the 6 round but what about all the money they waste on guys who can 't even get a uniform... ie. Armanti Edwards, Dwayne Jarrett, Jason Peter, ...lol we need to get a Polian type back in here ... in the words of WFNZ whinner line...REFUND RICHARDSON....REFUND !!! lmao

Posted by: Tony | Dec 7, 2010 8:22:32 PM

Tampa drafted Wiliams in the 4th. And you have to question a GM that trades away a future second round pick to move up and get Armanti Edwards...who has done NOTHING for the Panthers. Has he even been active on game day? The other young team, the Bucs..didn't invest in free agents this year either...but they drafted well last year and this year. If Jerry wants to build through the draft, I would hope he gets rid of Hurney based on their previous drafts.

Posted by: Greg | Dec 7, 2010 8:26:45 PM

Thank you Jerry. Enough said, lets build, play and win! Folks this team isnt going anywhere, this is a 1 year deal and any relationship has its ups and downs. And when we are properly positioned on the other side of the CBA, we can all look back and with understanding of the sacrifices appreciate the Super Bowls we will win. Bonds are formed in the trenches.

Posted by: catdawgman | Dec 7, 2010 8:28:02 PM

What ever JR!!!! Give my money back....or spend it on free agents that are not scrubs...

Posted by: sobermonk | Dec 7, 2010 8:32:50 PM

How about CUTTING the ticket prices...that's novel idea !!!!

Posted by: Art | Dec 7, 2010 8:39:12 PM

If it were me, I would have told the crying chiwawas to stick it

Posted by: GoCats | Dec 7, 2010 8:39:21 PM

Let's see how would John Fox describe this season? "A punt is not always a bad play" or something like that... we are rebuilding... yes, we are doing it cheap for now; the CBA has a lot to do with the way this season has been handled... but sometimes you do have to take one step backwards before you can take two step forwards....

Posted by: TheDorkLord | Dec 7, 2010 8:52:36 PM

oh you PSL owners crack me up. You all made an investment expecting your PSL investment to triple so you can sell and make a profit. Investments are always going to be a roll of the dice. You didn't buy stock in a company so your opinion doesn't matter to the panthers. You can't walk away or you forfeit your investment. many of you complaining bought to make a profit, not for the love of the game.

Posted by: Greg | Dec 7, 2010 9:01:29 PM

Its funny how people complained that JR isnt saying anything, or he dont care. But now he gave you all the reason for what he was doing and why and you still not happy. Me personally I am satisfied, most of us thought that te young core of players coming back was going to be at least good, and the new players coming good. But I really think its John Fox thats the real problem, e stick with players to long then he never really help players develop into something good. I mean all the teams that won was basically veteran base team. I hope he hire a coach that can take young player and make them better because thats what the Panthers are missing.

Posted by: steve | Dec 7, 2010 9:01:50 PM

too little, too late. This is one PSL owner that been so thoroughly disgusted by this product, I will not renew next year. Jerry, you can't tell me about your commitment to fielding a winning club, when you showed absolutely no commitment this year. Wasted money in a down economic cycle. Commitment is long term and consistent. The only thing I have seen is consistency in mediocrity. Your organization lacks in aggressiveness and that is what it takes to create a winning program in this league.

Posted by: cant give away a ticket | Dec 7, 2010 9:02:10 PM

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