CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Recently retired veteran linebacker Luke Kuechly is officially joining the Carolina Panthers as an NFL scout.
Kuechly officially joined the Panthers’ front office as a pro scout on Thursday.
Kuechly, who announced his retirement in January, officially went on the league’s reserved/retired list Tuesday, which allows the team to spread out his cap hit over the next two years.
The scout role requires hours film watching which is something team officials said Kuechly did a lot of as a player. He’ll now be doing it for players - and coaches.
"During the season, it'll be player evaluation and then advance scouting stuff. So if we play a team next week, we've got to get everything set up and ready to go, so when the coaches come in on Monday, they're not starting from square one," Kuechly said.
This role could be the first step on a front office ladder for Kuechly. But according to an article from the Panthers website, he’s not yet ready to commit that kind of climb.
"I've never really done anything like this, so I'm just going to take it a day at a time and see what I think," Kuechly said. "I think it'll be fun. It's still going to be football. It's still going to be around good people. That's what matters."
Kuechly considered other jobs in his post-playing career, including broadcasting and coaching.
In Januray, NFL Network reporter Mike Garafolo reported on “Good Morning Football” Saturday that the former Carolina Panthers linebacker has considered going into coaching or working as a consultant for an NFL team.
“I just don’t think the we’ve seen the last of Luke Kuechly in the NFL," Garafolo reported. "As a player we have but this is something that he’s spoken to some folks at least prematurely about, and it’s the possibility of returning to a coaching role or some kind of consulting role.”
“The biggest is thing is I still wanted to be involved with the team, around the game, and I wanted to be in the building because I still have a lot of people in the building that I’m friends with and I enjoy being around and I wasn’t ready to quite give that up,” Kuechly said. “I explored some other things, and they were all really cool opportunities, but I like being around the team, I like being around Charlotte, I like the guys upstairs (in the front office), and this will give me, I think, the closest thing I can get to playing.”
The seven-time Pro Bowler announced his retirement in an emotional video posted on the Panthers’ Twitter page.
Kuechly retired after his eighth NFL season and is one of the most beloved players to ever wear a Carolina uniform and one of the top linebackers in the NFL.
Kuechly’s resume includes seven Pro Bowl nods, seven AP All-Pro selections with five on the first team, the Defensive Player of the Year award (2013) and the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award (2012).
He finished his career with 1,092 tackles, the most in the NFL since he entered the league. His 18 interceptions are most by a linebacker since 2012 and third-most in franchise history. His 75 tackles for loss are tied for fifth among linebackers over that span.