CHARLOTTE – Scott Fitterer wasn't the first candidate the Panthers talked to.
Clearly, he made an impression that lasted.
The Panthers on Thursday night agreed to terms on a five-year deal with Fitterer to become their new general manager.
Fitterer, the Seahawks' vice president of football operations, first interviewed by videoconference Monday, the final day of the 15 preliminary interviews for the position.
"We went through a thorough process and it was a great final four," Tepper said. "We thought Scott was the best fit for the organization."
Fitterer has been with the Seahawks since 2001, and operated as a co-assistant GM under John Schneider — who just signed a contract extension through 2026.
A former two-sport player in college (UCLA and LSU), Fitterer spent three years as a pitcher in the Toronto Blue Jays organization before shoulder problems ended his baseball career.
From there, he got a job with the Giants (New York, not San Francisco) as a part-time scout and joined the Seahawks in 2001 and worked his way up through their college scouting department. He became their college scouting director in 2011, as the team began laying in the pieces that would eventually become a Super Bowl champion.
That year, a fifth-round pick named Richard Sherman joined a secondary that would become known as the "Legion of Boom," and the young stars followed in rapid succession.
The first three picks of the 2012 draft brought pass-rusher Bruce Irvin, linebacker Bobby Wagner, and quarterback Russell Wilson — the foundation of a team that would go on to win Super Bowl XLVIII in dramatic fashion (43-8 over John Fox and the Denver Broncos) a season later.
As Seattle's co-director of player personnel from 2015-19, Fitterer worked with former Panthers' staffer Trent Kirchner in directing Seattle's college scouting and pro personnel departments in acquiring talent and managing the roster. Fitterer was also responsible for evaluating all draft-eligible players nationally and worked closely with Schneider on every aspect of the draft process.
Fitterer helped draft players such as defensive end Frank Clark, wide receiver Tyler Lockett, defensive back Shaquill Griffin, safety Tre Flowers and wide receiver D.K. Metcalf.
Fitterer is a native of Seattle, and has a degree in history from UCLA.