NFL insider sheds light on Carolina Panthers’ owner undermining head coach in 2023


When David Tepper bought the Carolina Panthers in 2018, the National Football League hoped it was replacing former owner Jerry Richardson with someone who would bring more stability to the franchise moving forward. Instead, Tepper is quickly earning a reputation as one of the worst NFL owners.

Tepper, age 66, used to be a minority stakeholder in the Pittsburgh Steelers. He then purchased the Panthers in 2018 for a then-NFL record $2.275 billion. He immediately made a favorable impression, offering to help fund a new stadium and practice facility while also providing financial support for the region.

  • David Tepper net worth (Forbes): $20.6 billion

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The Panthers’ owner donated nearly $600,000 in scholarships to the University of South Carolina, $2.65 million for COVID-19 relief efforts and later raised his total donations to more than $20 million. By all accounts, he was doing everything the NFL hoped for and more.

However, Tepper’s reputation has changed in recent years. As the majority owner of Carolina’s NFL and MLS franchises, Tepper has fired four head coaches in 18 months. He was also heavily involved in making the trade for Bryce Young, costing Carolina the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft order and he was fined $300,000 by the NFL in January for tossing a drink at fans.

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The Panthers’ owner has also drawn scrutiny for his heavy involvement in football operations, including going behind the back of former head coach Frank Reich and reportedly having hand-picked assistants on the Panthers coaching staff who reported directly to Tepper.

Related: David Tepper allegedly ‘destroyed’ Carolina Panthers team chemistry in 2023

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham, Tepper’s involvement also includes going “through data to critique his coach’s playcalling.”

Tepper’s heavy involvement in football operations and repeated instances of undermining the head coach he hired is why the Panthers’ coaching vacancy was the least-desired job in the NFL this offseason. As all of this happened, the half-built Panthers practice facility that was abandoned in 2022 was finally torn down in 2023.

Now, heading into the 2024 season, the Panthers roster is viewed as the worst in the NFL with many around the league skeptical of the franchise’s ability to turn things around anytime soon as long as Tepper is heavily involved in decision-making.

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