New Panthers general manager? After 15 were interviewed, the team has made an offer

By Richard Walker

After interviewing 15 candidates for their vacant general manager position, the Carolina Panthers announced on Thursday they had offered the job to Seattle Seahawks vice president of football operations Scott Fitterer.

By Thursday evening, the team announced that Fitterer had accepted the position.

Fitterer interviewed by videoconference with the Panthers on Monday and had an in-person interview with the team on Wednesday as part of the team’s search to replace Marty Hurney, who was fired in December.

A member of the Seahawks organization since 2001, Fitterer has focused primarily on evaluating incoming college talent for three head coaches and three Super Bowl appearances for that franchise. In many ways, he’s been a co-assistant general manager under John Schneider.

Fitterer was one of four finalists for the job following a search that included Carolina owner David Tepper; Titans director of player personnel Monti Ossenfort, 49ers vice president of player personnel Adam Peters and Chiefs assistant director of player personnel Ryan Poles were the other finalists who were brought in for second, in-person interviews.

Tepper said after letting Hurney go that he was interested in finding a general manager that was data-driven and well-schooled in sports analytics. Tepper added he wanted an “alignment and collaboration” between the team’s new general manager and head coach Matt Rhule, who just completed his first season as head coach with a 5-11 record.

Rhule was hired last January to replace Ron Rivera and was signed to a seven-year, $62 million contract.

Hurney was fired as the winningest general manager in team history with a 114-120 record in two different stints with the franchise.

A football and baseball player at UCLA (1992-94) and LSU (1994-95), Fitterer spent two years seasons in the Toronto Blue Jays organization as a relief pitcher after being a 22nd round draft pick of the Blue Jays in 1996. Fitterer was 3-3 with 14 saves and a 4.10 ERA in 44 career appearances and one of his teammates in 1996 when he played for Class A Dunedin of the Florida State League was 2019 Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Roy Halladay.

A three-year NFL part-time scout for the New York Giants, he was hired by Seattle in June 2001 and has been a part of an organization that has won one Super Bowl, three NFC titles and nine NFC West titles while making 13 playoff appearances in the 20 years he’s worked for them.