The Carolina Panthers traded up eight spots to get the top overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft, and they weren’t about to give it up to another team, let alone the team that Carolina GM Scott Fitterer used to work for.
As you can see in the video below, the Panthers draft room was all stoked and ready to take Alabama quarterback Bryce Young at No. 1. It was a formality in the days leading up to the draft, but that didn’t stop Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider from swooping in over the phone in a last-ditch effort to get Seattle to the apex of the board.
#Seahawks GM John Schneider jokingly called #Panthers GM Scott Fitterer to see if they'd trade the No. 1 overall pick on draft night.— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) June 28, 2023
Fitterer and Schneider worked together in Seattle for over a decade and are close friends.
(via @Panthers YT)pic.twitter.com/Zw25VwLMe8
“It’s John Schneider,” Fitterer said to Panthers owner David Tepper. “He wants to know if you want to trade.
“Sure! Sure why not, John?” said Tepper.
Well it was worth a shot.
Fitterer, of course, was a part of the Seahawks staff from 2001 until he was hired by Carolina in 2021. He went from a regional scout pre-John Schneider to director of college scouting in 2011, then co-director of player personnel from 2015-2019. His last job title in Seattle was as Vice President of Football Operations in 2020. As you can tell, the friendship between Scott and John is tight.
Having sprung a surprise by beating the Seahawks in Seattle last season, the Panthers will look to repeat that feat when they come to town in Week 3.